I finally did it! I have been talking about making homemade sourdough and a sourdough starter for so long, and I finally took the plunge.
Now, I am putting the recipe for both the sourdough starter as well as the bread up, but honestly, go to Annie’s website. She has a beautiful post (with step-by-step pictures!) about Sourdough Basics, as well as a second post on Sourdough Bread. Annie has seriously become my baking guru. I go to her first. If she doesn’t have a recipe for something, I head somewhere else, but I always check her website first.
Now that I have a sourdough starter as well, I can make tons of things with sourdough! Pizza crust, waffles, scones, there are so many things I can make, and I am so excited.
Yield: 1 starter, 2 loaves with bread recipe
For the sourdough starter:
2 c. warm water
1 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
2 c. flour
For the sourdough bread:
For the sponge:
1 c. fed sourdough starter
1½ c. lukewarm water
3 c. flour
For the dough:
1 tbsp. sugar
2¼ tsp. salt
2 c. flour
1 tbsp. water (optional)
1 egg white lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
Water in a spray bottle
To make your sourdough starter, pour water in a large (at least 2 quarts) glass or ceramic bowl. Stir in the sugar or honey until dissolved. Stir in the yeast. Gradually whisk in the flour until combined.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm spot for 2-5 days, stirring once a day. This develops the sour flavour. When bubbling has subsided and a sour aroma has developed, stir once more, and transfer to the refrigerator. At this point, I transferred the starter to a plastic container.
The starter needs to be fed once every two weeks or so. Each time, a cup of the starter is taken out and either thrown away, or used in another recipe (like pizza crust or waffles), and 1 c. of flour and ½ c. of water is added to the starter and mixed in. Leave the newly fed starter out for about 12 hours before returning to the refrigerator. Each time you take out a portion of the starter, it must be fed again.
To make the sourdough bread, combine the sponge ingredients (starter, flour and water) in a large bowl. Whisk together to combine until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 4 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and add the sugar, salt, and flour to the sponge. Mix until a ball begins to form from the dough. If some of the dry ingredients will not mix into the dough, add the water. Continue kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 or 6 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 3-4 hours.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. After dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate the dough. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, shape into a rough torpedo shape, making sure to pinch any seams shut. Place the loaves seam side down on the prepared baking sheet, and cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place to rise until nearly doubled in side, about 2-3 hours.
Place a baking stone, or a baking sheet turned upside-down in the oven and preheat to 425°F. Allow the oven and stone to heat for at least 20 minutes. Right before baking, slash the tops of the loaves diagonally three times with a sharp serrated knife. Brush all exposed areas of the loaves with the egg wash, and spray the loaves with water.
Slide the entire sheet on the baking stone, and bake for 28-32 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The crust should be golden brown, and an instant read thermometer should read 190°F when inserted into the center of the loaf. Transfer the loaves to a wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.