What is sourdough bread? Sourdough bread is a type of bread made entirely with wild yeast. If you have a strong and active culture of wild yeast you won’t need any commercial yeast. And that’s a great thing these days 🙂 You can bake can bake a delicious artisan bread using sourdough, water and flour.
Wild yeast works a little more slowly than commercial yeast, so making a sourdough bread will take several hours.
This recipe calls for a sourdough starter – the wild yeast (full recipe here). If you don’t have a starter, you can make one in about 6-7 days. Once you’ve made your own starter, you don’t have to make a new one again. Keep your starter in the fridge, feed it once a week and when you want to make a bread take a small amount of it and make the leaven.
The leaven is what we actually mix into the dough. It is made with a small amount of starter (1-2 tablespoon), flour and water. For a liquid leaven I use active starter, water and flour in equal parts. You should let the leaven sit for at least 8 hours (up to 12 hours). The leaven is ready to use when it’s double in size and bubbly. To see if your leaven is ready to use drop a teaspoonful into a cup of water. If the leaven floats, it’s ready to use.
Once the leaven is ready to use, you should mix into a large bowl the leaven, water and flour. Let the dough sit for 30 minutes and then add salt. Then continue to stretch and fold the dough and let it proof for a few hours.
You should also try:
Ingredients for sourdough bread
– 450 gr bread flour
– 300 gr water, room temperature
– 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
– 150 gr (5.29 oz) leaven
– 50 gr (1.76 oz) active starter
– 50 gr (1.76 oz) flour
– 50 gr (1.76 oz) water, room temperature
How to make sourdough bread
You should start by making the leaven the night before you plan to bake. Transfer 50 gr (1.76 oz) active starter to a clean bowl. Add 50 gr (1.76 oz) water, room temperature and 50 gr (1.76 oz) flour. Stir to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight (8 to 12 hours).
Next day in the morning your leaven should be ready: it should be double in volume an you can see lots of bubbles on top. If you want to be sure, drop a small amount of leaven into a cup of water and if the leaven floats it means that it’s ready for baking.
Pour the water into a large bowl. Stir in the leaven, then the flour. Cover and let sit for about 30 minutes, up to 1 hour (this is the autolyse stage).
After the autolyse time, sprinkle the salt on top on the dough. Fold the dough till all the salt is incorporated. Transfer the dough to a slightly greased bowl. You should fold the dough on the same side so place the dough upside down into the bowl. When you have to fold again, invert the dough, stretch and fold, then put it back into the bowl upside down.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 50 minutes.
Begin folding the dough: grab the dough at one side, lift it up, and fold it over itself. Repeat for a few times. Cover and let sit for another 50 minutes.
Repeat the stretch and fold part, cover and let sit for about 1 hour.
Transfer the dough to the slightly floured table. Shape the dough into a ball.
Transfer the shaped dough to the floured baking pan (20-22 cm/ 8-9 inches), cover and let rise in warm place for 1-1,5 hours (or until double in size).
Preheat the oven to 240 C (482 F).
Use a sharp knife to score the surface of the bread
Bake on 240 C (482 F) for about 15 minutes then reduce the heat and continue to bake for another 35-40 minutes on 200 C (392 F).
Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.