Pet Arthur is Still Alive

Amazingly, I haven’t killed the sourdough starter I bought from King Arthur Flour a year ago. The main reason it hasn’t been tossed in the trash is that Pet Arthur is extremely resilient. It surely isn’t because of my diligence. I’ve forgotten about it for upwards of two weeks. I’ve used almost all of it up in a bread recipe, leaving less than a quarter of a cup, but it stayed alive and even thrived with newly added flour and water.

The best part is that it has been making amazing waffles and breads. Just yesterday, I baked 3 loaves of sourdough potato bread.

I used King Arthur’s recipe as a jump start and then added the leftover mashed potatoes we had in the fridge. The end result was a bread with the telltale sour taste of a sourdough and with an incredible moist crumb typical of a potato bread. It might be the best sourdough bread I’ve made to date.

Recipe:
1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water, enough to make a smooth dough
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
6-8 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Combine the starter, water, leftover potatoes, and 4 cups of the flour.
Let rise 4 hours. Then, transfer to fridge and let rise overnight.

Remove from fridge and add remaining ingredients. Incorporate enough flour until a soft dough is formed. Knead until smooth and elastic. Let rise until doubled, about 6 hours.

Divide into thirds and place into loaf pans. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (done in this order so the dough can rise again). Bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly brown and sounding hollow when tapped.

Yes, it takes 2 days to make, but most of the time it’s sitting in the fridge or in a corner rising. You can walk away and forget about it. Goodness knows, I have several times. Sourdough appears to be very forgiving for the bread is always delicious.

Here is the bread in my new bread box, another yard sale find.

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