Hussein loves bread and always prefers bakery fresh bread to anything in a plastic bag in the supermarket. I’ve made quick, no-knead loafs with yeast before but really wanted to try my hand at sourdough. Many of my blogger friends had posted about Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa. I ordered the book and began my journey.
Since ordering this cookbook, I’ve made three loaves of bread (two regular sourdough and one whole wheat). Each better than the previous. Getting the techniques down is critical and a part of the bread making journey.
This is a labor of love to start. If you have a friend with a starter, ask for a bit. If you’re in SE Michigan, I will share with you (just ask and we can coordinate). If I had a starter my journey to bread baking would have been so much faster. It takes about a week and a half to get your starter going. It may also take longer, depending on the temperature in your kitchen, the naturally occurring yeasts in the air, ect.
Your starter begins with equal parts flour (I used whole wheat flour to help jump start the process) and water (30 grams each). Mix them well in a jar with a lid. Cover and rest over night. The next day, dump half the mixture out and again add equal parts flour and water. You continue this for about a week, until the start is bubbly and doubled in size.
Test your starter by dropping one teaspoon of it into a glass of water. If it floats, it is ready! If it sinks, you should feed it again.
When using starter for a recipe, you want to feed your starter and get it ready for the next use.
–Food Scale to ensure proper measurements. This is essential, in my opinion.
–Bread Lame to score your bread
– Round Banneton Dough Proofing Basket to proof your bread in.
– Bench Scraper to help you scoop your bread up!
–Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron to bake your bread in 🙂
For more tips and details, be sure to check out, Emilies blog The Clever Carrot.
Baking a loaf of sourdough requires planning. I mistakenly decided to start my dough in the morning, which meant it needed to bake in the middle of the night. Baking the loaf requires a three day block of time.
Evening of day 1: ensure starter is ready and bubbly. Feed the starter and leave at room temperature.
Morning of day 2: test the starter using the method mentioned above.
Afternoon of day 2: make your dough and leave for the overnight rise.
Morning of day 3: shape the dough, another rise, score the dough, bake and enjoy!
Homemade Sourdough Loaf Recipe
- 1/4 cup (50g) Sourdough Starter
- 1 1/3 Cup + 2 Tablespoons (350g) Warm Water (80 degrees F)
- 4 Cups (500g) Bread Flour (I use King Arthur)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
- Make the Dough: Use a fork to whisk together the starter and water together in a large bowl. Add the flour and salt. Mix to combine until a dough forms. Use your hand to incorporate all the flour. The dough will be sticky, and feel soft. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, form the dough into a smooth ball by folding each side over, until you go all around the dough and have a smooth ball.
- Cover the bowl with a damp towel, and allow to rise for 8 to 10 hours at room temperature (about 70 degrees F), until doubled in size and it appears to have air bubbles in it (some will be on the surface). You may allow the dough to rise for 12 hours.
- After the dough has risen, move from the bowl to a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a round, by starting at the top and fold the dough over towards the center. Rotate the dough and continue folding towards the center until you have gone all the way around. Flip dough over and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- While dough is resting, line an 8-inch banneton with flour and dust it with flour.Tighten the shape of the dough and flip into the banneton. Cover the banneton with a towel and allow to rise for 30-60 minutes. When the dough is puffy, it is ready. It will not quite double in size (that is expected).
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut a sheet of parchment to fit the pot, leaving some extra on the edges to make removing bread easier.
- Flip the dough onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle flour onto the top of the dough and rub it gently with your hands (this creates that contrast you see once the dough is scored). Using your lame, or a razor, score your bread in the pattern you desire. Use parchment to lift dough into your pot.
- On the center rack of your oven, bake the dough with the lid on your pot for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes. Carefully lift bread out of the pot and bake directly on oven rack for the final 10 minutes (watch bread at this point because my loaf only needed 6 minutes. Initial temp of bread should read 205 degrees F).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting.
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Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate or @AmandasPlate.