It’s the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, and like everybody else on Instagram, I’ve slipped down the rabbit hole of sourdough. From initially thinking this is far too much work, don’t like being a slave to a starter, and ending up being a sourdough convert is very much a slippery slope folks, so don’t start unless you are prepared! I’ve tried a variety of methods, and ended up with a variety of breads, all delicious, but this one … it’s going to be my house bread. Chewy, dense, yet somehow light … it’s the perfect sourdough loaf.
- 50 grams or bubbly sourdough starter, 1/4 cup
- 350 gramswarm water (80° F) – (1 ⅓ cups plus 2 tablespoons)
- 500 grams bread flour (4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) You can use other flours, too: white unbleached flour, white whole wheat, or spelt. Whole wheat flour will be denser and won’t rise as much as white flour. For your first few loaves, you’ll have more success if you don’t use it. Don’t use gluten-free flours.
- 9 grams finely ground sea salt ( 1½ teaspoons) or Himalayan salt
You need to make sure your sourdough starter is bubbly and ready to go. If it has not been fed recently then take a few spoonfuls of sourdough starter from your fridge and give it that much flour and water and let it ferment for 6 – 8 hours.
NIGHT PRIOR TO BAKING
Before bedtime (the night prior to baking), gather all your ingredients.
Close to your bedtime, add the bubbly sourdough starter and warm water to a ceramic bowl. Mix them together with a whisk until well combined.
Then add the flour and salt and combine together with a stiff spatula. You can also use your hands to get the flour fully incorporated. The dough will look a little scraggly, feel dense, and stick to your fingers. Try and scrape off as much dough from your hands as possible but don’t over mix it at this point. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, flour your hands and work the dough into a smooth ball. Do this by folding the dough over and pressing it into the center until the dough starts to turn into a smoother ball.
Line an 8-inch bowl with a towel and dust generously with flour. Make sure your hands are still floured and pick up the dough and place it in the bowl with seam side up.
Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your pot, leaving excess so you can grab the bread and take it out of the pot. Place your parchment paper over the bowl and invert the bowl to allow the bread to release onto the paper.
With a small razor blade or serrated knife, score the bread with four slashes.
Pick up the parchment and carefully place your bread in the pot.
Place the lid on the pot and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue baking for 30 more minutes.
You can take it out of the pot and onto the rack to bake for 5 minutes longer to darken the bread if you’d like.
When bread is done, take bread out of pot and place on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes to an hour, although we often can’t wait to eat it! Store loaf in a bag on the counter, or this bread freezes beautifully
If you would like a little more guidance, lots of clear photos, and many sourdough tips, head on over to the site I got this recipe from – Cultured Food Life.