Alaska Sour Dough Bread and Starter

This recipe was given to me by Chef Sheila.

Alaska Sourest Dough Starter
1 packet yeast
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 1/4  cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups unbleached flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.  Add sugar, vinegar, salt, all purpose flour.  Add remaining water until a creamy batter is formed.  Place in a glass bowl, cover and let sit until it starts to ferment.  About 3 days.  It will take on a powerful sour smell.  Stir again until creamy and measure out what is called for in the recipe. 

Replenish starter with equal amounts of flour and water.  Let sit on counter, covered for about 24 hours.  Place in refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before using.  Replenish after each use, let stand 24 hours, then place in refrigerator again.
 
My Favorite Sourdough Bread Recipe
1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet dry yeast
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (makes bread rise well)  found in supermarket
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
6 to 8 cups (approximately) unbleached flour

The day before:

In a large bowl, mix together the starter, water, yeast and vital wheat gluten.  Add 3 cups of the flour. Cover with a damp cloth, and let this sponge sit overnight.  At this point, you may let the sponge sit for as long as 24 hours:  The longer it rests, the more sour your final bread will be.

Add the salt, oil, and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that cleans the sides of the bowl.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it, adding more flour as necessary, until it's smooth and resilient. Use all the flour.  Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let rise for 2 hours.  The dough should double in size.  Again, the dough can rise for as long as 12 hours at this point, to develop flavor.

Punch the dough down and divide it into two pieces.  Knead each piece on a lightly floured surface.  Form each piece into a round ball and place each on a baking sheet that has been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise for 1 hour more, or until double in size.

While the loaves are rising, preheat oven to 375 F.  Make 3 slashes in the top of each loaf. This helps bread to rise evenly in oven.  Bake the bread for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Or when bread sounds hollow when thumped, or until interior measures 190 F to 205 F on a thermometer.  Remove from oven, and cool completely on wire rack.  2 large loaves.