Introduction: Super Easy Sourdough Bread
I wanted to write this instructable to show how easy it is for anyone to make their own sourdough bread. When I first looked into making sourdough break all the articles said how hard it is and how many steps had to be carefully followed for the bread to work out. It seemed like a nightmare and only the most adventurous people would ever dare bake sourdough bread.
I dare you to try my recipe and see how easy it is. Get a bit of starter from a neighbour, friend, online, and then give this recipe a try. I've been making it for over 10 years and I have barely bought store bought bread since then.
You could say my recipe is an adaptation of the following recipe, which first got me started years back. https://www.instructables.com/id/Sourdough-Bread/
I usually double this recipe and make two full batches. I use metal and ceramic bowls, whatever is at hand.
Step 1: Combine the Ingredients
1 cup starter
3 cups water
6 cups flour (pretty much any kind)
2 tsp salt (optional)
1. Mix everything together. Done :)
If you want to feel good/fancy about the mixing process, add the starter to the bowl and add 2 cups of water. Mix.
Add 3 cups of flour. Mix.
Add 1 cup of water, add 2 tsp of salt. Mix.
Add remaining 3 cups of flour. Mix.
No kneading required unless you want to. Sometimes I keep the dough wetter, sometimes I add a little extra flour and knead it a little by hand. This dough is very forgiving and you can experiment to see what works better for you.
Step 2: Rest, Divide, and Conquer
1. Cover the bowl with a cloth or kitchen towel and rest the dough for 12-15 hours or until you see big bubbles. Sometimes the bubbles will burst, which is a sign to bake the bread asap. You will find that the dough is wetter than most doughs you know, but that's okay since we are not kneading it.
2. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and put it into 1-2 greased loaf pans. At this point you can let the dough rise again or just bake the bread now.
Step 3: Bake It
3. Cover the pan(s) with a lid or aluminum foil and bake covered for 15 minutes at 450F.
4. Take the cover(s) off and bake the bread for another 25-35 minutes.
5. Stick a knife into the deepest part and see if runny dough will come out. If yes, leave in oven a while longer. If no, then your bread is done.
Step 4: Starter and Stuff
Caring for your sourdough starter:
Caring for a sourdough starter is often depicted as especially difficult, but I find the following method works for me. I use a wooden spoon that's where I agree with others.
A. I keep my starter in the fridge. The night before I want to start my sourdough bread I take the starter out of the fridge and feed it with flour and water. How much is up to you. I tend to go with a sourdough starter with a consistency like thick pancake batter. After you are finished making your bread, feed the starter again and put it into the fridge. I also often leave the starter out of the fridge over night to allow it to get more active before putting it back into the fridge.
Feed the starter once a month or so. You will find that it slows down if not fed regularly. The black liquid that might form is called hooch and can just be poured off or mixed in for a more sour bread.
1. Increase or decrease the flour to water ratio. I sometimes make the dough a bit dryer and knead it a little bit before adding it to the loaf pans.
2. Increase the salt. This will slow down the rising process and will make the bread a bit more sour.
3. Have a dryer starter. This might make your bread more sour, too.
4. Double the recipe! Give some bread to friends and neighbours.
5. Double the recipe and use some of the dough to make pizza.