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Sourdough Bread from Scratch

Sourdough bread egg sandwich

Sourdough bread is a delicious and nutritious bread that is made with a fermented sourdough starter. The sourdough starter gives the bread its characteristic sour flavor and chewy texture. Sourdough bread is also more digestible than other types of bread, and it can last for several days without going stale.

If you’re new to sourdough baking, don’t worry! It’s easier than you might think. A good sourdough bread recipe is worth trying. Baking your bread is a rewarding experience that allows you to control the ingredients for a perfectly green loaf. You can use local, organically-grown ingredients to work with your eco-friendly lifestyle and know exactly what you are eating. There are so many ways to make bread, but sourdough is one of the most popular.

What is Sourdough Bread?

Sourdough bread is a type of bread that is made using a sourdough starter, which is a fermented mixture of flour and water. This starter gives the bread its characteristic sour flavor and chewy texture. Sourdough bread is also more digestible than other types of bread, and it can last for several days without going stale.

Sourdough bread has been made for centuries, and it is thought to have originated in Egypt. The sourdough starter is made by combining flour and water and letting it sit for several days. During this time, the wild yeast and bacteria in the air will colonize the mixture and begin to ferment it. This fermentation process is what gives sourdough bread its unique flavor and texture.

Sourdough bread starter
Photo credit: Canva

To make sourdough bread, you will need a sourdough starter, flour, water, and salt. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Mix the sourdough starter with flour and water to form a dough.
  2. Let the dough rise for several hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  3. Shape the dough into a loaf and bake it in a preheated oven.

Sourdough bread can be made with a variety of different flours, including wheat, rye, and whole wheat. It can also be made with different types of seeds and nuts. Sourdough bread is a versatile bread that can be enjoyed on its own, toasted, or used to make sandwiches and other dishes.

Here are some of the benefits of eating sourdough bread:

  • It is more digestible than other types of bread.
  • It has a lower glycemic index, which means it does not cause blood sugar levels to spike.
  • It contains prebiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help to support gut health.
  • It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium.

If you are looking for a delicious and nutritious bread, sourdough bread is a great option. For this recipe, we will be following the King Arthur Baking website. The starter recipe is a great one to follow.

This recipe is easy to make at home, and it can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways.

Making a sourdough starter

The first step to making sourdough bread is making your own starter. This is a simple process, but it will take some time. To make a sourdough starter, you will need:

To begin your starter

To feed your starter

Instructions:

  1. Day 1: Combine the pumpernickel or whole wheat flour with the cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic all work fine for this. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows; we recommend at least 1-quart capacity.
  2. Stir everything together thoroughly; make sure there’s no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70°F) for 24 hours.
  3. Day 2: You may see no activity at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth or bubbling. Either way, discard half the starter (113 grams, about 1/2 cup), and add to the remainder a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) cool water (if your house is warm); or lukewarm water (if it’s cold).
  4. Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.
  5. Day 3: By the third day, you’ll likely see some activity — bubbling; a fresh, fruity aroma, and some evidence of expansion. It’s now time to begin two feedings daily, as evenly spaced as your schedule allows. For each feeding, weigh out 113 grams starter; this will be a generous 1/2 cup, once it’s thoroughly stirred down. Discard any remaining starter.
  6. Add a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water to the 113 grams starter. Mix the starter, flour, and water, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for approximately 12 hours before repeating.
  7. Day 4: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6.
  8. Day 5: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6. By the end of day #5, the starter should have at least doubled in volume. You’ll see lots of bubbles; there may be some little “rivulets” on the surface, full of finer bubbles. Also, the starter should have a tangy aroma — pleasingly acidic, but not overpowering. If your starter hasn’t risen much and isn’t showing lots of bubbles, repeat discarding and feeding every 12 hours on day 6, and day 7, if necessary — as long as it takes to create a vigorous (risen, bubbly) starter. 
  9. Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but 113 grams (a generous 1/2 cup). Feed as usual. Let the starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; it should be active, with bubbles breaking the surface. 
  10. Remove however much starter you need for your recipe — typically no more than 227 grams, about 1 cup. If your recipe calls for more than 1 cup of starter, give it a couple of feedings without discarding, until you’ve made enough for your recipe plus 113 grams to keep and feed again.
  11. Transfer the remaining 113 grams of starter to its permanent home: a crock, jar, or whatever you’d like to store it in long-term. Feed this reserved starter with 1 scant cup (113 grams) of flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water, and let it rest at room temperature for several hours, to get going, before covering it. If you’re storing starter in a screw-top jar, screw the top on loosely rather than airtight.
  12. Store this starter in the refrigerator and feed it regularly, using your normal process: Discard all but 113g starter; feed that remaining 113g starter with a scant 1 cup (113 grams) flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water. We recommend feeding once a week, if possible. The more frequently you feed it, the less time and effort it takes to get your starter ripe and ready for baking.

You can follow the recipe here as well. Don’t forget to check out the Baker’s Tips on their website.

Once your sourdough starter is active, you can use it to make sourdough bread! Here is a simple recipe:

Sourdough bread sliced
Photo Credit: Canva

How to make Rustic Sourdough Bread

This is a great recipe to follow, and it is perfect to give away to friends and family.

PREP: 12 mins | BAKE: 25 to 30 mins | TOTAL: 3 hrs 7 mins

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine all of the ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.
  2. Allow the dough to rise, in a lightly greased, covered bowl, until it’s doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
  3. Gently divide the dough in half; it’ll deflate somewhat. Preshape each piece of dough by pulling the edges into the center, turning it over so the seam is on the bottom, and rolling under your cupped hands to form a ball. Let the dough rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. To make fat oval loaves, elongate each ball of dough you’ve preshaped by gently rolling it back and forth on an unfloured work surface several times. For longer loaves, continue rolling until they’re about 10″ to 11″ long.  

For additional recipe notes, check out this link.

Sourdough bread egg sandwich
Photo Credit: Canva

Tips for making sourdough bread

  • For a more sour flavor, let the dough rise longer during bulk fermentation and proofing.
  • If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can bake the bread on a baking sheet. However, the bread will not have as thick and crusty of a crust.
  • To test if the bread is done, tap the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, the bread is done.
  • Sourdough bread can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Conclusion

Sourdough bread is a delicious and nutritious bread that is easy to make at home. With a little practice

Enjoy your homemade artisan sourdough!

Ways to enjoy sourdough bread

Sources:

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