While I have written about sourdough bread before, I have not actually talked about how to make sourdough bread. I have also not tried making this type of bread myself which is why I have been struck with the inspiration to learn for myself (and share the information in this post).
While I have made plenty of bread like no-knead artisan bread, sourdough bread is still terra incognita for me. But even so, everyone knows that in order to start your sourdough bread recipe and learn how to make sourdough bread, you will first need a sourdough starter.
A sourdough bread starter is actually a fermented culture that has a life of its own. It is especially important because it acts as a leavening agent and allows the bread to rise. But besides that, it also provides sourdough bread with its own unique flavor: it’s tangy, crispy, chewy, and delicious. This is not to mention that this bread has low gluten compared to other types of bread.
Because your sourdough starter is alive, you will want it to be as potent as possible so your resulting bread will rise. To stimulate the starter, add flour to it. The starter will start to bubble. After several hours (and keeping the starter in a warm place) it should be ready to use. You can buy sourdough starters online or you can get a friend or family member to share some of theirs with you.
Then, you can get started.
How to Make Sourdough Bread
You will need the following ingredients:
- 250 g water
- 150 g sourdough starter
- 20 g olive oil
- 500 g flour
- 5 g salt
Start to mix the ingredients together with a fork. Once the dough starts to come together, use your hands to mash the dough. The dough should be rough and somewhat dry. Then, soak a towel and place it over the ball, letting the dough rise for 30 minutes. Then, punch it down again (it’s a great way to let out any pent-up anger).
Then, cover the bread again and let it rise in a warm place for several hours. Your bread might be done in 3 hours or 12 hours, depending on how fast it will rise. The dough will rise faster when it is in a warm environment and when the sourdough starter is strong. At this point, you can decide whether you want to cut the dough into two loaves or keep it as one loaf.
Then, let the bread rise again for one more hour before you put the loaf into a Dutch oven or a bread pan and bake the bread at 450 degrees. Be sure to slice the top of the bread before baking it so the heat can escape. Cook it for 20 minutes, take it out, then let it rest for about an hour at room temperature. Then, you should have delicious sourdough bread ready to eat!