How to make sourdough bread
Craving for that sourdough bread crisp? Well, if you like to bake bread and you want to learn how to make sourdough bread, you’re on the right page. With a good sourdough bread recipe, you can make this handcrafted bread without kneading. By preparing the dough ahead of time, say the night before or early in the morning, you can have it all ready in 10 minutes tops.
Most of you who are not too familiar with sourdough bread is a type of slow-fermented loaf. What makes it distinct from normal bread or loaves is that it doesn’t require commercial yeast to make the dough rise. In replacement to yeast, the usual sourdough bread recipe uses a live fermented culture which will be your sourdough starter. This will act as a natural leavening agent.
Sourdough bread starter know-how
Since we’ve mentioned that the main star in this sourdough bread recipe is the sourdough starter instead of yeast, let’s learn a bit about the sourdough starter. In a nutshell, a sourdough starter is made from flour and water. This live culture will begin to ferment once the mixture combines.
Its bulk fermentation cultivates the wild yeasts and bacteria present in the mixture. Also, once your sourdough starter is all set, you must keep it alive with regular feedings of water and flour to hold its strength for maximum rising ability. It’s also prepared first as it needs to be stored in your fridge within 5-8 days.
Here’s a simple procedure where you can form that sourdough starter you need for your sourdough bread recipe. This is also quite versatile as you can use it for your pizza dough, baguettes, biscuits, waffles, crackers, and baguettes.
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup warm water
For feeding the starter each day ( Day 3-7 ):
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1/4 cup water
1st Day: Prepare the starter
- In a large jar, combine the ingredients.
- Mix with a fork until thick, smooth, and pasty. Add more water to thin out the texture if needed.
- Cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
- Let it rest in a warm area for 24 hrs.
2nd Day: Check for bubbles and brown liquid
- Remove the lid and look for small bubbles that may have appeared on the surface. It’s perfectly okay if there are bubbles, as this is an indication of fermentation.
- Let your starter stay in its warm spot for another 24 hours.
- If there’s a brown liquid or “hooch,” it’s time to feed your starter
- It might smell stinky, and it’s normal.
- Leave the hooch there.
Be patient. A few more days to go, and your sourdough starter is good to go
3rd Day: Feed the starter
- With bubbles or not, you need to feed your starter.
- Using a spoon, remove at least half of your starter from the jar.
- With the starter’s very rubbery texture, add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of warm water.
- Use a fork and mix until smooth.
4th, 5th, and 6th Day: Continue feeding
- Do the feeding process the same as on the 3rd day.
Tip: Don’t panic when the starter rises with bubbles. This process is perfectly normal.
7th Day: Your sourdough starter is ready!
- There should be bubbles – small and large. It’ll look like melted marshmallows or s’mores.
- The stinky smell should have gone off by now.
- Transfer your sourdough starter to a nice, clean jar.
You’re all set now to make that artisan-level sourdough bread recipe.
How to make sourdough bread at home?
We won’t be surprised if you’ve tried and baked other types of loaves with different results. Working your way to trying this no-knead artisan bread might be your next best journey in baking. Armed with the right sourdough bread recipe, you’ll be able to achieve the right amount of tanginess, crispiness, texture, and crackly crust. Provided with the sourdough starter recipe above, you’re now ready to make sourdough bread at home, here’s how!
Kitchen gears needed:
- Large bowl
- Measuring cup
- High Temp Parchment Paper
- Kitchen Towel
- Sharp Knife
- Dutch oven or bread baker
- Rice Flour ( for dusting )
- 250g water
- 150g sourdough starter ( read above for recipe)
- 25g olive oil
- 500g bread flour
- 10g fine sea salt
- Mix the dough
- Using your hands, crush the flour until fully absorbed.
- Cover the bowl with wax, plastic wrap, or a very damp kitchen towel for 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has rested, form it into a ball while inside the bowl.
- Allow a resting period of 15 minutes to 1 hour or more.
Tip: The dough will become softer if you give it a 1 hour rest period.
- Let it rise!
- Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise at room temperature ( 68-70 F ) for 3-12 hours, depending on the temperature.
- After 30 minutes of bulk rise, you can do some stretching and folding to make the bread dough strong. ( not mandatory)
Tip: If it’s summertime, the dough can take just 3-4 hours. But if it’s in the colder season, it’ll take 10 to 12 hours.
- Cut and shape your dough.
- Remove the dough from the bowl.
- Place it on a lightly floured work surface.
- Cut it into half to make two loaves, or leave it as is if you want a whole single loaf.
Keep going. In a few more steps, you’re all done!
- Prepare your baking pot.
- Get your oven-safe pot that has a heat capacity of up to 450 F
Tip: The use of a pot will allow you to produce artisan-style bread as the pot can trap heat and moisture while baking.
- Prepare for your dough’s second rise.
- After shaping your dough, it needs to rise again.
- Coat the bottom of your Dutch oven or bread maker with cornmeal. You can also opt to use parchment paper in place of cornmeal.
- Place the dough inside. It will rise for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 450 F while the dough is almost finished to rise.
- Slash your dough
- After the second rise, before placing it in the oven, slash it about 2-3 inches long at the center of the dough.
Tip: This slash is vital as it will allow steam to escape so the dough can expand while baking. You can use a paring knife or a small serrated knife.
- Time to bake your sourdough bread
- Cover the pot with a lid and reduce temperature to 400 F.
- Place it on the center rack and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the lid. Your bread will look shiny and pale.
- Continue baking without lid cover this time for 40 minutes. The temperature should be reduced, so check if it is at 205-210 F.
- Let it cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Don’t slice just yet! Unless you want your sourdough bread recipe to turn out gummy.
What is sourdough bread best with?
Whether you have successfully followed the sourdough bread recipe a few paragraphs ago or you have this in stock in your pantry, your next move is to know what goes best with your sourdough bread. Let’s head on to the creative ways you can eat your healthy sourdough bread.
Whether you’re on a Keto diet or just wanted a healthy option for breakfast, avocado is perfect for your sourdough bread. Here’s how to prepare with your sourdough bread:
- Slice your sourdough bread, then toast
- Mash your avocado using a fork
- Spread on top of toasted sourdough
- Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper
- Squeeze in some lime juice
What better way to have your sourdough bread than to dip it in your soup or use it as a Bread Bowl. If you’re done with your sourdough bread recipe homework, it’s time to learn how to carve it out to be used as your Bread Bowl for soup. Here’s how:
- Using your paring knife, cut straight down inside the edge, nearly down the bottom but not all the way through.
- Take the bread portion that is cut
- Pour your soup
Sourdough bread sandwiches
Since this bread is delicious even when eaten solo, it goes perfectly with almost every ingredient. Check out the sandwich combos you can try below:
- French ham and cheese
- Egg, Frisee, and Caramelized Onion
- Eggplant with peppers and beans
- Avocado and tomato
- Smoked salmon
- Tomato, bacon, and mayo
- Roast pork and cucumber
Here are even more fun and delish ways to enjoy your sourdough bread
Try this Italian deli using your sourdough bread. This is an easy-to-prepare appetizer that you must try. Here’s how:
- Cut your bread into oval shapes
- Chop tomatoes and garlic in small portions
- Drizzle olive oil and vinegar into the tomato and garlic mix
- Throw in some basil leaves, then mix
- Spread on top of your sourdough bread
While its flavorful taste will have you craving for more, hummus is also a good source of protein. Plus, it’s a delicious topping to your sourdough bread. Here’s how:
- Cut your sourdough bread
- Add hummus to your bread
- Top it with some fresh red pepper strips, a dash of cayenne pepper, and sliced avocado.
A classic partner to any bread is your ever-reliable peanut butter. Toast your bread, then spread this on top. Et voila! Your comfort snack or breakfast Is ready in just minutes.
Eggs are a staple in every kitchen, especially during breakfast. But since eggs are versatile, you can still enjoy them any time of the day. The perfect partner for your eggs is your toasted sourdough bread. Here’s how:
- Fry your sunny egg side up
- Fry your bacon next
- Assemble egg and bacon on top of your sourdough bread
- Spread butter
You deserve a proper congrats if you’ve finally allotted time to prepare for a sourdough bread recipe. Although the preparation process will require effort, sourdough bread has so much more flavor than normal yeasted bread, and safe to say. Kudos! It’s all worth it.
Preparing sourdough recipes isn’t as simple as baking normal bread. It’s a labor of love. You have to put in the time and a lot of patience.