Sourdough Bread Recipe

This is day 2 of my sourdough starter and it was ready for use. I think the all purpose flour was lighter than the whole wheat and so it rose easier. There are so many recipes for sourdough bread out there. I used one that called for 2 and 1/3 cups of starter. The problem with this was I was left with 1/2 cup of my starter. Solution: I just added two cups flour and two cups water to the starter…returning it to my counter. I’m not phased by doing this again.

Not going to lie here…making this bread is a JOB! Today my son went out (I homeschool him) so I had a day free and this was a perfect time to be doing this.

So many steps to making this but the end result is SO worth it! The crust was crisp and the inside airy. The flavour was that of a restaurant artisan bread. You know when you go out and say, “This is why I’m paying for this meal!” When you taste their bread and it’s so good. That’s how this bread turned out.

Ingredients:

2 and a 1/3 cup of sourdough starter

5 cups of all purpose flour

1 cup water

1 tbsp non iodized salt

Directions:

This is where is gets tricky. This dough can not be put into a mixer or you will kill it. When you first combine all the ingredients, it’s a sticky mess (like play dough gone wrong). Continue to combine with a spatula. Then fold the dough upon itself (take one side of the dough and bring it down to the over side with your hands) This is like kneading, but you aren’t using your knuckles. You continue to do this over and over again until the dough stops beings sticky. If it’s too sticky, gradually add some flour and fold some more until the dough is smooth. It should look like this:

Rest the dough for thirty minutes and then fold it three times again. You will do this every thirty minutes 4 times which means 2 hours has passed.

This is when you can let the bread rise. Form the dough into two round balls by tucking the dough underneath and place the good end facing down on a floured tea towel. I took the flour and actually moved it around into the towel. Then cover with siran wrap and let sit 4 hours.

(I didn’t have a Dutch oven, but they are what works best for this bread.)

Take a cookie sheet and place it in the bottom rack of your oven, filling it with an inch of water while it’s in the oven. Don’t try to carry a sheet of water to your oven…you will fail. Turn your oven to 400F

Take your bread from the tea towel and roll it onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. The dough should be covered with flour. Take a sharp serrated knife and score the top of your loaf. I just made a straight line done the side.

Cover the dough again with a towel and let rise for a half an hour. This bread doesn’t get big like regular bread, but it does grow.

After the half hour, place it in the oven at 400F for 50 minutes- 1 hour. Do not open the oven or you will let the steam out.

Take out the bread. It will feel hard when you tap it. Let it rest for one hour before slicing.

This recipe makes 2 loaves.

Sourdough Starter Recipe

Living in Tennessee, sourdough bread was a staple. Often it was made with potatoes for a smoother flavour. This recipe was one I got from some ladies who lived in the area.

I just made it tonight, and the picture above is what it looks like after you mix all the ingredients together. It has to sit on the counter for 2-3 days before it’s ready to be used in any sourdough recipe. Then you place it into the fridge and each week you “feed it” by adding 1 cup flour and 1 cup of water.

The water I use for this is always spring water because I feel that city water has chemicals that may affect how it turns out. I also don’t use iodized salt. You will find in any bread recipe that by using non-iodized salt (like sea salt or kosher salt) the yeast will grow better and you will get a fluffier bread.

I always use to make my starter with whole wheat flour so I’m not sure this will turn out well. I will let you know.

*Make sure all utensils are perfectly clean or you will get mould in your starter. Also don’t use any metal while making this, it reacts. Stick to glass bowls and wooden spoons or spatulas.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups spring water (room temperature)

1 tbsp yeast

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp non iodized salt

Mix the first four ingredients in a large non metal bowl until well blended with a wooden spoon or spatula. The result should be smooth. Then blend in the salt and mix until completely incorporating it into the dough mixture.

Cover the bowl loosely with parchment paper (this will prevent the dough from sticking to your cloth) then place a clean tea towel or cheese cloth over the bowl. Place in a warm place on your kitchen counter on top of a cookie sheet because it may spill over while growing. Stir the mixture several times a day. The first three hours it will grow quickly, so watch it. By the end of the first day, a clear liquid should form much like you see on top of yogurt. Stir this in. The mixture should remain beige and bubbly. Continue to do this for 2-3 days, until you get a sweet smelling mixture. (almost like a beer smell). This is when it is ready for use in a sourdough recipe. Place what is remaining in the fridge, covered with Saran Wrap or place it in a mason jar. Each week, take it out and “feed it” with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. Let sit on the counter overnight then return to fridge. Before you use the starter, always take it out overnight and test it the next day. If it floats in water, the starter is active.

Summer is a perfect time to start this project because the heat is conducive to fermenting the dough. You will have this starter forever if you feed it every week. If you see any strange colour on top of it, throw it out…it’s mould. That’s why you have to make sure that every utensil you use is perfectly clean. If you don’t use the starter enough, you can give some away. I’ve even seen it being sold online. Why? When you can make this yourself.

Have fun

Chaya

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