Again, this sourdough bread is very spongy, moist, like a loaf of banana cake! When they are just taken out of the oven, they'll have crusty top, but they'll be soften in 5 minutes and will keep moist until the next day (well, this bread only keeps a day or two as it is loved by the whole family).
Source: The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook p.532
1 ½ cups lukewarm water,
1 Tbs sugar,
1 Tbs or packet active dry yeast,
1 cup sourdough starter,
5 ½ to 6 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I use plain flour),
1 Tbs salt,
1 Tbs vegetable oil,
cornmeal to sprinkle on baking pans
Sponge: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this sit for 10 minutes or so until bubbly. Add the starter and stir. Gradually add 3 cups of flour, stirring until well mixed and smooth. Cover the sponge and set it aside in a warm draft-free place for 4 to 5 hours.
Dough: Stir down the sponge. Stir in 1 cup of flour, the salt and oil. Gradually add flour until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead for 3-4 minutes. Let the dough rest while you clean out and grease the bowl. Continue kneading another 3-4 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Add only enough flour to the board to keep the dough from sticking. Place the dough in the greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.
Shaping & Baking: Knock down the dough and shape it into 2 long Frenc- or Italian-style loaves. Place them on a cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet and let them rise for another 1-1 ½ hours. Toward the end of the rising period, place a baking pan on the oven bottom (or on the lowest rack) and preheat the oven to 450F. Just before baking, splash the tops diagonally every couple of inches, about ¼ inch deep and brush with cold water.
Pour 2-3 cups of water into the pan, put the loaves on the rack above the steaming water and bake for about 25 minutes.