Sourdough Focaccia

Top this airy bread with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese; Kalamata olives; or simply with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

1⅓ cups sourdough starter
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing on top
2 teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, kneading in the flour ½ cup at a time. Allow dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (this should take about 45 minutes), then punch it back down and allow it to rest for an additional 10 minutes.

2. Transfer dough to a lightly-floured surface and then roll out into a 9-by-6-inch oval (dough should be about 1-inch thick). Transfer to a baking sheet and then dimple the surface of the dough with your thumb. Brush lightly with the additional olive oil, allowing the oil to pool in the dimples, then add any desired toppings.

3. Allow the dough to puff up again and then back in a 450° oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and slice into large wedges to serve.

Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Sourdough adds distinct flavor and chewiness to these light, moist and buttery rolls.

½ cup sourdough starter
1 cup lukewarm water
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
¼ cup potato flour
1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, then mix and knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—adding more flour or water if necessary to make a soft, smooth dough. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise at warm room temperature until it’s nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 1½ hours.

2. While the dough is rising, lightly grease two 8″ round cake pans. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, gently deflate it, and divide it into 16 pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball. Place eight balls in each of the round pans; if you space the balls evenly, they shouldn’t touch one another.

3. Cover the pans and allow the rolls to rise until they touch one another and are very puffy, about 1 to 1½ hours.

4. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the rolls for 24 to 26 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown on top; a digital thermometer inserted into one of the center rolls should read 190°F. Remove the rolls from the oven and, after 2 or 3 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack to cool.

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