The pandemic has seen a massive surge in people baking sourdough bread during the lockdown period. In fact, many have been asking for a simple yet great recipe for creating the perfect loaf. If you’re ready to jump on the bandwagon and bake amazing sourdough bread, we have just the recipe to get you started.

Sourdough is a leavening method and for making sourdough bread, you use a ‘starter’ that replaces yeast. It takes around 7 – 10 days to develop, so if you want sourdough bread next week, you’ll need to get cracking with this recipe right now!

Making the sourdough starter

Ingredients:

  • White bread flour
  • Water (boiled and cooled to room temperature)

Yes, that’s all you need! You don’t need commercial yeast either.

Day 1

  • Mix the flour and water in a bowl and stir well until smooth and thick. Cover it loosely to attract the natural wild yeast in the air.
  • Let the mixture rest at room temperature or somewhere slightly warm for 24 hours.

Day 2

  • Add 30g of water and 30g of flour to the mixture and mix well. Scrape the sides and mix again, incorporating air into it.
  • Loosely cover the bowl and let it rest for another 24 hours.

You may already notice a few bubbles and the mixture may feel glutinous.

Day 3

  • Repeat the process from the previous day.

Day 4

  • Discard half the contents of the bowl.
  • Repeat the process from the previous day.

The mixture will begin to smell sour, because of the normal fermentation process.

Day 5

  • Repeat the process of adding 30g of water and 30g of flour to the mixture, mixing well and leaving to rest.

Day 6

  • Discard half the contents of the bowl.
  • Repeat the process from the previous day.

Day 7

  • Again, add 30g of water and 30g of flour to the mixture, mix well and leave to rest.

Your starter should be ready to use by now. It should be thick and glutinous with bubbles all the way through the liquid.

If you don’t see this, continue feeding flour and water and discarding for another 3 – 7 days. This is a slow process, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

If you notice, at any time:

  1. A murky grey liquid on top – simply stir in the liquid and feed as usual.
  2. The starter becoming a thin liquid – feed it flour only.

You know your starter is ready when you stir it, allowing the bubbles to escape, and the bubbles come back quickly and abundantly.

You can store the starter in the fridge or use the amount you need to bake your sourdough bread.

And now, we can get down to baking bread!

Making Sourdough bread

Ingredients:

  • Starter – 50g
  • Strong white flour – 500g
  • Water – 350g
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon

Method:

Here’s how to bake the perfect loaf.

  • Mix all the ingredients together loosely. It will appear ragged.
  • Cover the bowl with a cling film or a plastic bag and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Stretch and fold the dough till it becomes a smooth ball. To do this, lift a handful of dough from one end of the bowl and fold it over the rest of the dough on the other side, loosely. Turn the bowl and repeat this a few times.
  • Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest.
  • Stretch and fold again 2 – 4 times over the next few hours.
  • Allow bulk fermentation – cover the bowl and let the dough ferment for around 7 – 10 hours, ideally at 65-70°F (18-21°C). The dough will have almost doubled at the end of this time, with bubbles present.
  • Repeat the stretch and fold process a few times and form a loose ball. Do not handle the dough too much to keep the bubbles intact.
  • Place the dough on parchment paper, seam-side down.
  • Liberally flour a banneton or bowl using rice flour.
  • Place the dough along with the parchment paper inside the banneton or bowl and sprinkle the top of the dough with rice flour.
  • Cover it with cling film or a plastic bag again and refrigerate for around 10 hours. Anything between 3 – 24 hours works. The longer it is left, the more stable and flavoursome it becomes.
  • Preheat your oven to 230ºC/450ºF (or 220ºC/430ºF if it is fan assisted).
  • Remove the dough from the fridge once the oven is preheated.
  • Line your dough. Then use the parchment paper as a sling to transfer the dough from the bowl to the enamel roaster. Put the lid on and bake for 50 minutes.
  • After the 50 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and transfer your sourdough bread to a rack to cool.

Note:

Do not open the oven during the baking time.

Wait for at least an hour before slicing into your bread.

There you have it – your very first sourdough bread! Enjoy!

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This amazing recipe was sourced from Foodbod Sourdough.