Make Sourdough bread as simply as possible without weighing Ingredients but instead using cup measurements; this is a tried and true recipe to make delicious bread every time.
Sourdough bread is excellent for many reasons: it tastes fantastic, is healthy and safe for everyone, and is suitable for the gut. According to a group of scientists in Italy, sourdough bread can be enjoyed by those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease when made with the proper ingredients and using old-world techniques. Seriously, anyone can do it perfectly the first time and every time after.
Sourdough Bread Made Old World Style at Home Using Cup Measurements
Is Sourdough Bread Gluten Free, and Can People with Gluten Sensitivity and Celiacs Eat It?
Back when food was more wholesome for our bodies and made naturally, sourdough starters were created using an all-natural and organic fermentation process happening overnight and over time. Good bacteria break down the gluten proteins during this process, reducing or eliminating gluten. Just as Kombucha is created by bacteria eating the sugar in sweet tea, rendering it sugar-free, depending on the amount of sugar you use. Sourdough bacteria thrive on the wheat gluten, thus gobbling it up, leaving little, if any, to disrupt the gut.
In the year 2010, a group of Italian scientists proved the gluten content was significantly lower in breads made using traditional old-world style yeast grown in bakers' homes across the country. The difference was so significant that celiacs volunteering for the study could consume sourdough bread without ill effects. For this reason, so many gluten-sensitive people do fine when indulging in sourdough bread and cheese, while in France, it is made using the old-world fermentation process, something we can duplicate in any part of the world.
- Natural Fermentation: Sourdough bread is leavened through a natural fermentation process, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and yeast.
- Digestibility: The fermentation process breaks down gluten and phytic acid, potentially making sourdough easier to digest for those with gluten sensitivity.
- Nutrient Absorption: Phytic acid reduction in sourdough enhances the body's absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: The slow fermentation of sourdough results in a lower glycemic index than conventional bread, helping regulate blood sugar levels.
- Prebiotics and Probiotics: Sourdough fosters a healthier gut microbiome by providing prebiotics (from fiber) and probiotics (from fermentation).
- Improved Mineral Bioavailability: Sourdough's fermentation process increases the availability of minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus, for better absorption.
- Rich in B Vitamins: Sourdough contains B vitamins, including B1, B2, B6, and B12, which play vital roles in energy metabolism and overall well-being.
- Reduced Gluten Content: While not gluten-free, sourdough may be better tolerated due to gluten breakdown during fermentation.
- Longer Shelf Life: The acidity produced during fermentation acts as a natural preservative, contributing to a longer shelf life without the need for additives.
- Potential Antioxidant Properties: Some studies suggest that the fermentation process in sourdough may enhance the antioxidant properties of the bread, offering potential health benefits.
Best Way Nervous Beginners Can Make Flawless Sourdough Bread
The Breadtopia Fresh Sourdough Starter is unlike dried starters you can buy online. Nope, this starter is ready to bake with. Breadtopia sourdough starter is active & ready to go. It's heirloom & organic for homemade sourdough bread.
Best Sourdough Bread Ready-Made Starter
LIVE BREADTOPIA SOURDOUGH STARTER
What is Needed to Make Sourdough Starter
The Sourdough Starter - What You Will Need
- Glass Container with lid - I use a large mason jar.
- Organic Rye Flour
- Organic White Flour
- Purified Water
- Measuring Cup
Creating Leavening From Starter for Bread Recipe
Once your sourdough bread starter is ready (it looks similar to mine in the images below), add and gently mix the following until smooth
- 1/4 cup of the starter
- 1/4 cup of filtered water
- 1/2 cup flour
Allow this mixture to rest in a covered container until bubbly; time varies and could be 1 to 2 hours. I set mine on the stovetop.
Once this is bubbly, you will have the leavening to make bread.
- The starter/leavening should float in water when ready.
- This is the cup of starter/leavening you will use to make your bread.
- This process may take one to two days.
- The starter should be consumed with bubbles; in other words, you should see a lot of bubbles throughout the jar's contents.
Making Sourdough Bread Starter Step 1
Step 1: In a glass container, I use large Mason Jars with a lid, add 1/4 cup purified water and 1/4 cup flour blend of equal parts organic rye and white flour. Mix well with a wooden chopstick (or similar) cover and let stand in a warm, dark place (the top of the fridge is a good spot).
Feed the new starter three times a day, three hours apart for three days. Add 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup flour mix.
Note: This can be reduced to 1/8 cup depending on the number of loaves you will require. The stronger your starter becomes, the less volume you need to feed it to remain lively.
Step 2: On day 4, add 1/4 cup flour blend and 1/4 cup purified water, stir well, cover, return the jar to the dark, warm area, and repeat this twice a day, 12 hours apart.
Repeat Step 2: every day at the same time for seven more days; your starter should be ready for the dough-making process.
Maintaining Sour Dough Bread Starter
Typically, it takes two weeks to create a starter with enough wild, bubbly yeast to make bread. Feeding it more frequently makes it stronger and more active. As it grows more active, you can reduce the amount of water/flour mixture you feed it as long as it remains bubbly.
Once you have the perfect starter, you can store it in the fridge for up to one week. I know of many bakers who have left it much longer and brought it back to life.
When storing a starter in the fridge, you should feed it once a week, as outlined above. Different areas of the country have different weather conditions and wild yeast. Both impact the creation and maintenance of your starter.
If you forget to feed your starter in one week, do it when you remember.
Making Sourdough Bread Step 2
The First Step in Making Sourdough Bread Once Leavened Starter is Ready
- You will need 1 cup of leavened starter
- 2 cups distilled or purified water
- 6 cups flour blend of organic white, wheat, spelt, or einkorn flours of your choice
- Glass or plastic mixing bowl
- Plastic spatula or mixing spoon
- Kitchen or tea towel
- Mix water and leavened starter
- Add 2 cups of flour at a time, mixing gently, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flour to absorb water. This also helps feed your leavening.
- After 10 or 15 minutes, add two more cups and wait 10 to 15 minutes.
- Finally, add one more cup for a total of 5, cover, and allow to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- The 6th cup can be added bit by bit if needed after 30 minutes of rest and during the slap, stretch, and fold technique.
- Do not add any or all of the 6th cup unless the dough is too wet to remove from the bowl.
- Note: This helps ensure you don't use too much flour (causing the bread to be too dense). It takes flour a while to absorb water.
How to Make Lighter, Less Dense Bread: 6 Tricks for Lighter Sourdough Bread
- Use a strong starter; it should be very bubbly and float; the portion removed daily during feedings can be added to water; if it floats, you have a good starter. It should also be bubbly; if the starter does not meet both criteria, feed it twice a day for a few more days or until it is ready.
- Sift flour, tossing out the heavy bits that remain in the sifter
- Use light flour; wheat is heaviest; white is lighter; spelt and einkorn make the lightest bread of all.
- Add baking soda before shaping during step 5. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to the dough for one loaf right before shaping by sprinkling it onto the dough before folding it.
- Let it rise enough and in a warm place. This step varies greatly after having spent the night in the refrigerator.
- If you do not want to leave it overnight in the fridge, bake it after the final shaping on step five once the dough has increased in size enough that a dome begins to form.
Making Old World Sourdough Bread Step 3
Salt Slap, Stretch, and Fold Sourdough
After the half-hour mark, mix one tablespoon of Celtic, Sea, or fine Himalayan pink salt with two tablespoons of warm water till salt is dissolved. Once dissolved, pour over the dough and work throughout the dough using your hands, plastic spatula, or spoon. Wear plastic gloves to eliminate caked and sticky fingers when using your hands.
Note: whatever utensil you choose, make certain it is a strong and sturdy choice, as anything else can and will break during this process.
Once the salt is added, dump the dough onto a nonporous surface and mix the dough using the slap, stretch, and fold technique. Do this for 10 minutes, return the dough to the bowl, cover with a towel, and sit for 4 hours.
Making Sourdough Bread Step 4
Working Dough after 4 hour Rest Period
Once the dough has sat for 4 hours, remove the dough from the bowl and onto the nonporous surface, sprinkle the top with a mixture of white flour and coconut flour, flip the dough over, and begin folding the sticky dough surface toward the middle, as seen below.
Note: fold half of the sticky side into the other half of the sticky dough.
Do this for 6 to 8 turns, return to the bowl, cover with a towel, rest for 30 minutes, and repeat this process for a 2nd fold and shape before putting the dough into the fridge overnight.
HINT - If you don't want to put the dough in the fridge overnight to suffer the wait, you have another option! Once the final shaping is done, put the dough in banneton, cover, and leave to rise in a warm, not hot spot. It may take 2, 4, or even 6 hours. Follow the baking directions below once the dough has risen and springs back from a gentle touch. Either way works FINE!
Step 5 Complete Sour Dough Bread Dough
After Dough Spent a Night in Fridge
The Process: I carefully place the dough into the banneton, which has been dusted with equal parts of coconut and white all-purpose flour.
A Banneton is a proofing bowl specific for artisan bread, such as our beautiful sourdough seen here today. I bought mine on Amazon; it included the cover seen below and the bread dough scraper I use. The products are shown above for your access
Cover the dough using the Banneton cover provided with the bowl. Prove dough for 2 to 6 hours. After this time has passed, peek in to see if it has risen enough. The time needed to proof the dough depends on the weather and temperature. Don't rush it; the bread will be too heavy and dense.
Best Sourdough Bread Starter
KneadAce Sourdough Starter Jar With Date Marked Feeding Band, Thermometer, Sourdough Fermentation Jar Scraper, Sewn Cloth Cover & Metal Lid
Best Bread Banneton Proofing Basket
Baking Bowl Dough, Proving Baskets for Sourdough Bread Scraper Tool Starter Proofing
Making Sourdough Bread Step 6
After Dough Rest Two Hours
It has been two hours, and my dough is still really cold. It is cool here in Ohio, so I will let my dough sit in the dark oven for another hour. I will keep you updated.
Trick - I turned my gas oven to 350 for about a minute, allowing the oven temperature to rise to 100 degrees, and then quickly turned it off so it wouldn't get too hot but warm up the environment for the dough to rise better.
Sourdough Bread Step 6 Baking Prep and Baking
At the hour mark, preheat the oven to 485 degrees Fahrenheit, heating the empty Dutch oven with a lid at this temperature for 30 minutes; it will be blistering hot, so be careful.
Once reaching the 20-minute heating time, turn the dough from the banneton upside down onto damp parchment paper and mist heavily with water from a spray bottle.
Slice the air vent design into the dough gently with the sharp blade. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven, remove the lid, set it aside, pick up the dough using both ends of the parchment, and carefully place the dough with parchment paper in the center of the oven. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, shove the parchment paper along the edges of the Dutch oven and away from the dough. This is to prevent the paper from sticking to the dough. Mist dough heavily with a spray bottle, return the lid to the Dutch oven, and put it into the oven, closing the oven door. At this time, reduce oven temperature to 430 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake at this temperature with a lid for 25 minutes, remove the lid, and allow to bake without lid for another 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove when golden brown, place bread on a cooling rack until cooled, slice, and enjoy!
Sourdough Bread is Ready
I carefully removed it from the Dutch oven and placed it on the rack to cool; it was the most torturous wait of all!
Slice the bread. This is my downfall; it is so hard to wait, but it is crucial to do so. If you cut your bread and it is gummy in the middle, you no doubt cut it too soon. Sourdough bread is dense and needs to cool; otherwise, the loaf collapses, making it dense.
Sliced buttered and with REAL BUTTER. I never mess around with anything other than the real thing, and yes, I use organic.
Finally, It is DELICIOUS! Something so good is well worth the effort. I began a new batch of sourdough for a fresh loaf tomorrow.
Enjoy every day!
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Do you have more questions about sourdough bread, making it, or other options? Check out our frequently asked questions below in our FAQ Section.
- How do I start a sourdough starter from scratch?
- Begin by combining equal parts flour and water, allowing it to ferment and develop bubbles over several days. Feed it regularly until it becomes active and bubbly.
- What flour is best for baking sourdough bread?
- All-purpose or bread flour is commonly used, but experimenting with a mix of flours like whole wheat or rye can add unique flavors and textures.
- How can I tell if my sourdough starter is ready for baking?
- A mature starter will double in size within 4-6 hours of feeding and have a pleasant, tangy aroma.
- What is the ideal room temperature for sourdough fermentation?
- Aim for a consistent temperature between 75-78°F (24-26°C) for optimal fermentation.
- Why does my sourdough bread not rise during proofing?
- Insufficient fermentation, under-kneading, or over-proofing may be the culprits. Adjusting these factors can help improve the rise.
- What are common mistakes to avoid when baking sourdough?
- Common pitfalls are overfeeding the starter, using chlorinated water, and rushing fermentation. Patience and precision are key.
- How long should I knead sourdough dough?
- Knead until the dough reaches the "windowpane" stage, where it forms a thin, translucent membrane when stretched.
- Can I use whole wheat flour in my sourdough recipe?
- Yes, incorporating whole wheat flour can add depth of flavor, but it may require adjustments to hydration.
- How do I get a crispy crust on my sourdough bread?
- Steam the oven during the first part of baking, and bake at a high temperature for a golden, crispy crust.
- What is the best way to store sourdough bread to maintain freshness?
- Keep it in a paper bag at room temperature for the first day, then transition to a bread box or cloth bag to prevent excessive moisture loss.
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