I've discovered that the best way to get a deep, dark crust on sourdough bread is to use the air fryer to bake the bread. Yes, I know, you can rev up your regular oven to 500 degrees and bake the bread on a pizza stone or in a Dutch oven, misting the oven at the same time. What a pain! Not to mention the risk of burns and damage to your oven! Instead, I get a nice dark crust--one that won't break your teeth--by baking my bread at 350 degrees in the air fryer, no fuss, no muss, just good bread. In this case, I'm offering up a Sourdough Honey-Rosemary Bread. The bread is soft on the inside, just a bit sweet from the honey, and flavored and scented with fresh rosemary. The bread is great for dinner and with your morning breakfast. I also like the bread toasted with cheese for a quick snack or lunch. Enjoy!
Sourdough Honey-Rosemary Bread -- Makes 4 Mini Loaves
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of canola oil (olive oil is good, too)
1 large egg
1 cup of flour (I often use 1/2 cup of all-purpose and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup of honey
2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients listed above well. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let the mixture sit for at least an hour (three or four hours is fine, too). When you're ready to continue the recipe, add the following to the first mixture:
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
Stir everything together well. You'll have a stiff batter, but not one that you can knead. Spritz four mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray and divide the batter among the pans. Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and let the batter rise for an hour or two or until the batter just rises to the rim of the pans. Put two batter-filled loaf pans in your air fryer basket, put the basket in the air fryer, and air fry the breads at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the tops are a deep brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into a loaf reads at least 190 degrees. Remove the breads and repeat the cooking process with the remaining batter. Let the cooked breads cool in their pans for about 10 minutes before removing the breads from their pans to cool completely. The breads will slice more easily if you let them cool before slicing them.