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January 19, 2024

Simple Recipe to Bake Delicious Sourdough Bread at Home

Bread is an essential part of our diet, but not all types of bread are equally nutritious. Sourdough bread is considered one of the healthiest options. It is packed with nutrients like healthy carbs, protein, iron and vitamins. Its tangy flavour, chewy texture and crispy crust make it taste incredible, and it is the perfect choice of bread for sandwiches and toast.

What Makes Sourdough Bread Special?

Sourdough bread, in simple words, is a slow-fermented bread that is leavened naturally by using sourdough instead of commercial yeast or a leavening agent like baking soda. You can create your own sourdough starter at home or get one from the market. If you compare the health benefits and nutritional value, it is a lot healthier than white bread. It protects your gut health, is easier to digest, improves digestive health, and maintains blood glucose levels.

How to Make Sourdough Bread at Home?

Do you know you can create artesian sourdough at home using this easy-to-follow recipe? There’s something incredibly satisfying about the process of making your sourdough bread from scratch. From the aroma of freshly baked bread that fills your kitchen to the joy of enjoying newly baked crusty loaf, it is an amazing experience for someone who loves baking. Baking sourdough is not as difficult as some people assume; it just requires a little patience and the right recipe. This blog provides an easy-to-follow sourdough bread recipe that’s perfect for beginners.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Activate Your Sourdough Starter

If you don’t already have a sourdough starter, you’ll need to create one a few days before baking, which usually takes 5-7 days. You can quickly get it online or from a nearby store. Add 1 cup of your active sourdough starter to a large mixing bowl and allow it to come to room temperature if stored in the fridge.

Step 2: Prepare the Dough

Add lukewarm water to the start and stir until combined. Gradually add the flour and keep mixing until it forms a shaggy dough. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel or a clean cloth and keep it to rest for about 30 minutes.

Step 3: Knead the Dough

 Sprinkle the salt over the dough and knead it for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Step 4: Bulk Fermentation

After kneading, it is time for bulk fermentation; for that, place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it ferment at room temperature for 7-9 hours. During the first 2 hours of bulk fermentation, stretch and fold the dough every 30 minutes to strengthen the gluten in the dough. This important step allows your dough to rise up to 50-70% of its original size.

Note: Do not leave the dough to ferment for too long as it will over-ferment, messing up the consistency and texture of your dough.

Step 5: Shape the Dough

Once the dough has doubled and is filled with bubbles, put it onto a floured surface. Gently shape it into a round loaf by pulling four sides into the middle. Gently form the dough ball, creating surface tension on the outer side.

Step 6: Final Proof:

Place the shaped dough into a floured proofing basket, cover it with a cloth, and let it proof for 1-2 hours or until it has noticeably expanded.

Step 7: Windowpane Test

When you take a small amount of dough and stretch it between two fingers, if it stretches enough to see through without breaking, it indicates gluten has formed and is ready to bake.

Step 8: Score

“Scoring” refers to making shallow cuts on the surface of the bread dough just before it is placed in the oven. You can use a razor or knife to create designs on the top. It makes your sourdough bread look beautiful and artistic and helps control the bread’s expansion during baking.

Step 9: Preheat Your Oven

Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C) with a lidded Dutch oven inside. This creates a steamy environment for a crispy crust. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can still bake the bread on a baking sheet. To get the perfect crust, you can either spray the loaf with water before baking or place a dish of water on the bottom rack of the oven to create steam.

Step 10: Bake Your Sourdough Bread

Cover the dough with the lid, and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake for an additional 10-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

And just like that, you have your homemade sourdough ready to enjoy. The tangy flavour and crispiness of sourdough make it a versatile option for any sauce or food like butter, jam, cheese, soup, hummus, pesto or smoked salmon.

Whether you bake it fresh at home or get it from a bakery, sourdough is a healthy addition to your diet. If you want freshly baked sourdough loaves, come to The Bishops Bakery or order online. We have a wide range of sourdough bread, so you can enjoy sourdough in your favourite flavours.

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