Wow…ok so we are back to the sourdough bread recipe. It should be known (if you don’t know this already) that wild yeasts are sometimes a finicky lot, and mine was or is no exception. I took 3 attempts to make a loaf that I was proud of and now finally we can get to business.
A quick refresher…your starter. So you have your starter and you have been patiently waiting for this recipe to appear. Your starter is locked away in your fridge and it seems to be on some sort of a bacterial vacation…the lights are on but no one is home. No worries, pull your starter from the fridge and add the following;
1/2 cup water, warm
1/2 cup flour
Mix well and put in a warm place to slap your starter and the wild yeast held against their will back into shape. We recently had a warm 75 degree day here so after 5 hours in the sun the starter was back in action. I left it out all day and put it back in the fridge overnight for safe keeping. Early the next morning I removed the starter again and brought it back to room temperature. Now with yeast fermenting and bubbles bubbling it is time to get my bake on…well sort of.
So baking a good sourdough, or any bread for that matter requires that you not only make the dough and let it rise, but that you also form the bread (loaf, baguette, roll, etc) and let those proof as well. If you have the time and patience great…but you can make a good quality sourdough with only 1 proof as the picture demonstrates. Start by 10am on a warm day and you will be having fresh baked bread with your dinner as long as you keep your wild yeasts happy.
So here we go…and here is your sourdough bread recipe complete with the wild yeasts and souring bacteria that nature has so graciously allowed us to use.
- 3c – flour
- ¾c - sourdough starter, 100% hydration*
- 1t - salt
- 1½ cup - water +- - you may not use it all so be forewarned.
- Dissolve the salt and the water.
- Place the sponge and ¾’s of the warm water/salt mixture into your kitchen-aid with a dough hook and mix until incorporated. Reserve the rest of the water and add while you are mixing the dough. Some flours will take more water, some less it all depends on what type of flour you are using and the hydration level of your starter.
- Add the flour a cup at a time until all has been incorporated.
- With the dough hook attachment, knead for 3 minutes then turn off the machine and rest for 5 minutes, to allow the flour to absorb the water.
- Turn the machine back on and knead the bread for 3-5 minutes, adding water or flour until your dough comes together and it removes the gunk that is stuck on the inner sides of the bowl.
- When the dough is firm and smooth remove from the bowl and form into a ball.
- Cover and keep in a warm place until the ball has doubled in size, this should take anywhere from 6 to 24 hours...depending. Now on Day 2 or later that same day...
- When the ball has doubled, remove, dust your work surface with a bit of flour and shape your bread. Do you want a baguette, a farmer's style loaf, dinner rolls... figure this out and shape accordingly. To make a round loaf, roll by tucking the top (which is now on the bottom) into the center of the ball you are creating. continue this tuck and roll action until your dough is a smooth ball.
- Oil the bowl, coat the ball and place back into the bowl.
- Cover and proof your loaves until double in size, again 6-24 hours depending or bake straight away.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Slash your loaf and mist with some water. Place bread in the oven and after 5 minutes, mist again with water.
- Cooking time is dependent on your loaf and its size. A full loaf or baguette will be 15 minutes, then turn for 15 more minutes then check color. Tap the bread and if it should hollow it is done. Remove from the oven, cool for 10 minutes and enjoy.
and now you have it…a great tasting, naturally leavened sourdough loaf. I cannot think of anything better to come home to or to start grinding on when its time to get some serious food on.
* Hydration. OK a bit to clear up the hydration comment in the recipe.
100% Hydration equals equal parts of water and flour.
If you see some recipe calling for 80% hydration then its a starter that had 20% less water than your regular starter.
Easy enough, no?