Homemade Sourdough Bread
There’s nothing quite like the aroma, texture, and taste of homemade sourdough bread. I’ve made this bread countless times, and I can’t believe I haven’t shared the recipe with you before.
Sourdough starters can be made from scratch, or someone will share theirs with you. There are hundreds of resources on the Internet on how to make a sourdough starter.
Once you have a sourdough starter, making a loaf of bread with it is easy. It only takes a little pre-planning.
You start with a 30-minute autolyse, a resting period during which the flour hydrates and the gluten begins to develop.
Then, the dough goes through two rising periods. If you want to speed up these rising periods, place the dough in a warm place. I usually put it in the oven switched off with the light on.
After that, it’s time to slash the top with a serrated knife or blade and bake the homemade sourdough bread for an hour. During the last 10 minutes of baking, crack open the oven door; this allows the moisture to escape, leaving your bread with a crispy crust.
I use a 50%-hydration sourdough starter. I usually feed it the night before and let it rest for 3 hours (until doubled) at room temperature. I put the starter back in the fridge and continued the rest of the process the following morning. This way, by 5 or 6 pm, my bread is ready! If I start later and I can’t wait for the second rise to finish, I make the shape and put the proofing basket in the fridge overnight. The next day, I leave it at room temperature for 2 hours and bake it. This option should allow you to fit this bread into your schedule and lifestyle.
Homemade sourdough bread keeps very well in the freezer. Once it’s cool, slice it, put it in a large zip-lock bag, and freeze it. When you need it, let it naturally thaw or put it in the oven for a few minutes. It will be as fresh as the day you baked it.
recipe adapted from I pasticci di Terri
How To Make It: Homemade Sourdough Bread
- 300 grams all-purpose flour
- 210 grams filtered water divided
- 75 grams mature sourdough starter hydrated 50% *
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon barley malt syrup or honey
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the flour and 170 grams of water with a wooden spoon, until all of the water is absorbed. The dough will look rough and shaggy.
- Let it rest for about 30 minutes (autolyse).
- Add the sourdough starter, malt, salt, the remaining water
- and knead for about 15/20 minutes, until your dough is smooth and comes off the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly dusted surface,
- shape it into a ball and let it rest, covered, until doubled in size (about 3 1/2 hours).
- Now it’s time to shape it as you wish: you can make a loaf shape or a boule shape. But, before you shape it, remove a small piece of dough, the size of a walnut.
- Transfer the shaped dough to a proofing basket / banneton (or line a bowl with a clean kitchen towel generously dusted with flour) smooth side down and cover with cling film.
- Make a ball with the small piece of dough and put it in a glass of water.
- When the bread is ready to be cooked, the ball should be up (about 3 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C (475 degrees F). To get a nice crust, create some steam in your oven by putting a small metal baking tray on your oven floor when you preheat it.
- Transfer the dough onto parchment paper, seam side down.
- Slash the top of the loaf with a blade, a serrate knife or a bread scoring tool. You can create whatever pattern you want.
- Place the bread into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F), remove the water and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) and bake for 15 minutes.
- Release some steam by setting your oven door ajar (perhaps with the help of a wooden spoon ) and bake for 10/15 minutes.
- Transfer onto a rack and leave to cool.