Sourdough Bread BEST RECIPE | Easiest Sourdough Recipe To Follow
Sourdough is a very popular bread and is thoroughly enjoyed by almost everyone. It is a dense, chewy, flavorful loaf of bread and makes an excellent dipping bread, garlic bread, sandwich bread and more.
Knowing how to make sourdough bread is a skill that is very handy, as you create your own yeast to use. Your only ingredients are flour, water and salt.
Making sourdough bread is a time-honored recipe that can be made when there is an absence of store-bought yeast. Learning how to make sourdough bread is a skill that you will always be happy you have. So let's get going! Here is how to make sourdough bread.
HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD | BEST SOURDOUGH BREAD RECIPE
Before jumping into this sourdough bread recipe, you should know a few things:
- This is an easy sourdough recipe to make, however it takes a full day
- Most of the day, the bread will be sitting there rising, and you are not doing much until you have to jump in and fold the sourdough. So it is not time consuming where you are working all day, it is a time consuming recipe as it needs that time to rise several times over several hours. This is a true sourdough recipe.
If you start making your sourdough bread right when you wake up in the morning, it will be ready by late afternoon or for dinner. This bread is worth every single second.
If you have not made your sourdough starter yet, you are a few days ahead of yourself. Bookmark this page (go ahead, do that now) and then head to our first post which is part 1 of this sourdough bread recipe, How To Make Sourdough Starter.
Once your sourdough starter is made and is ready, come back here and continue. Don't worry, we will wait for you ;)
On to the sourdough bread recipe. Grab your sourdough starter, here we go!
Sourdough Bread Recipe: INGREDIENTS
To Make Sourdough Bread You Will Need:
- 700 grams of sourdough starter (see our easy sourdough starter recipe here)
- 1450 grams flour (we recommend using bread flour for sourdough)
- 885 grams of water
- 35 grams salt
- Bread pans (cast iron or clay are best for sourdough)
- Parchment paper
- Kitchen thermometer
- A kitchen scale. Making sourdough bread is a science that requires precision in measuring that can only be achieved by weighting the ingredients.
Sourdough Bread Recipe: DIRECTIONS
These sourdough bread directions are broken up into sections to make it easier for you to follow.
1. Get Your Sourdough Starter Ready:
Before you begin to make your sourdough bread: feed your starter until it's ready to make bread with. You'll know your sourdough starter is ready to make bread with once it gets bubbly and doubles in size. Remember, you need 700 grams. Then you can start to make your bread.
Read: How To Make Sourdough Starter here
2. Make Your Sourdough:
Mix the starter and water together with a spoon in a very large bowl until the starter is dissolved in the water.
Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix together until incorporated. It is easiest to mix together by hand at this point.
Allow the sourdough to rest for 30 mins to 1 hour with plastic cling wrap on top of the bowl. This method of mixing the sourdough ingredients together and letting it rest for a period of time is called the autolyse method of breadmaking. It allows the gluten structure to form.
3. Sourdough Rising, Stretching & Folding:
After 30 minutes - 1 hour, your sourdough should have risen a bit. It is time to stretch and fold the sourdough. Scoop your hand under the dough, stretch it out a bit, and fold it over onto itself. Do this about 8-10 times, letting rest for 30 minutes each time covered in plastic wrap.
- After your final stretch and folding of the sourdough, let it sit back in the large bowl with plastic cling wrap on it for 4 hours.
4. Making Sourdough Loaves
*FOUR HOURS LATER
By now, your sourdough should have risen significantly and it should be quite large. It is time to divide it into loaves.
Put your dough onto a floured surface. It will deflate at this point.
- Using a dough scraper or a knife, divide the sourdough into 3 equal portions.
- Line 3 bread pans with parchment paper.
- Put each portion of sourdough into a bread pan.
Let rise again 3-4 hours in the bread pans. (The sourdough can rise longer if that is more convenient for you).
5. Scoring The Sourdough Bread Loaves
What is bread scoring?
- Bread scoring is slicing deep, gentle cuts into the top of your bread loaf right before placing it into the oven.
What do you use to score bread with?
- To score bread, you can use anything that is sharp and non-serrated.
- Many people use a razorblade or a bread lame, which is a razorblade set into a safe tool to hold.
Why do you need to score your bread?
- You will want to score your bread because there is steam that builds up in your bread while it is baking.
- This steam cooks your bread inside, rising the loaf. It is called oven spring.
- If you do not score your bread, it will spring open anywhere from the pressure built up from the steam inside the loaf.
By scoring your bread, you are controlling where the bread breaks open during the oven spring. If you do not score it, it will break open anywhere on your loaf.
After the bread has risen for 3-4 hours, you are going to give a light dusting of flour on top of each loaf and then score it with a sharp, non-serrated blade. We use a bread lame to score our bread with. Scoring your bread simply means to give it some deep, gentle cuts in the top of the loaf to allow the bread to properly expand while cooking.
- Many bread bakers use their bread scoring to create designs and patterns in their loaves of bread, and you can do this as well, but all you really require is one deep cut along the top of the loaf.
6. Sourdough Bread Baking
- Preheat your oven to 450 F and once the temperature is brought up, put in your bread loaves.
Bake until internal temperature of your sourdough bread reaches 195 F (about 90 C) with your kitchen thermometer. 30ish mins for small pans. Cast iron or larger pan is around 40 minutes.
Which bread pan is best for making sourdough?
The question of which pan is best for making bread or specifically, sourdough bread, is up for debate. There are your regular metal bread pans, which we don't recommend for the perfect sourdough loaf. Those thin-walled bread pans tend to burn the bread at the temperatures that sourdough needs to be baked at.
We like to use either a cast iron bread pan, or a ceramic clay bread pan, such as the Romertopf. Here is the difference in bread pans for sourdough bread:
A Cast Iron Bread Pan
- A cast iron bread pan retains the heat
- A cast iron bread pan allows for an even heat distribution, eliminating hot spots your oven may have
The Romertopf Clay Baker
- Even heat distribution
- Is versatile in that it can be used for other meals such as fish
- Comes with a lid that you can soak in water and put on your bread for a higher moisture retention
Either way, you can't really go wrong with a cast iron or a ceramic clay baker. It is a matter of preference. We have both and use them interchangeably depending really on the size of sourdough loaf we want. The cast iron bread pan we have makes a smaller loaf.
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