Now that we have all found a little more time on our hands, it is the perfect moment to start baking sourdough bread. This dough can be finnicky to start, but once you have a well-fed starter you will be churning out delicious loaves in no time.
Creating a Sourdough Starter
To create a sourdough starter, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of warm water, and add in 1 heaping teaspoon of active dry yeast. Within minutes the starter will begin bubbling and will grow in size. This is a good sign – it means the yeast is eating the flour. Everyday you will want to add ½ cup flour and just under ½ cup of warm water so your yeast can continue to feed and grow. If you start to develop a thin liquid on top of your starter, you will need to feed your starter more often – increase feedings to twice a day. After 4 – 8 days your starter will be ready to bake with.
Sourdough Bread Recipe
- 2 cups starter
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 5 – 6 cups of Bread Flour
- 1 TBSP salt
- 1 TBSP Olive Oil
- Combine the starter and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large nonmetal bowl. Slowly add the bread flour one cup at a time, its important to go slow as you may not need it all.
- Once the flour becomes difficult to stir in, remove the dough ball and place it on a well-floured countertop. Kneed the bread for about five minutes.
- After you are finished kneeding the bread, use the olive oil to grease the inside of your nonmetal bowl and place your dough ball inside.
- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit for at least 6 hours.
- After 6 hours has passed, kneed the dough again. Place the dough ball on a well-floured pizza stone or pan.
- Recover the dough with a damp cloth and leave for another six hours.
- When you return to your dough the top should be slightly firm. Use a small knife to cut slits into the top of the dough (you can get creative and try different patterns) to create a vent.
- Place dough, on pizza stone or pan, into a cold oven, and turn the oven on to 350 degrees. The bread will take between 30 – 45 minutes to bake. You will know it is done when you can smell a strong bread scent in your kitchen. It may take a couple loaves to get this perfect.
- Cut and enjoy!