There’s nothing like the smell of homemade bread in your kitchen and the taste of a fresh sourdough loaf is always so much better than store-bought. While there are some bakeries that sell traditionally made sourdough bread, it’s not always common to find. Besides it’s actually easy to make your own bread at home. With a few readily available ingredients and a little bit of time, you can learn the basics of working with sourdough. The slow fermentation process of sourdough makes the bread easier, and tastes absolutely delicious. We know you’ll love it!
The Perfect Fermented Sourdough Bread
Prep Time: 20 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
1 ½ cups sourdough starter
½ cup water
1 cup spelt flour
½ cup rye flour
½ cup white flour
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 cup white rice flour for sprinkling
1. Combine the starter with water and the different flours in a large bowl. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated evenly. The dough should be a bit sticky.
2. Let the mixture sit in the bowl for 30 minutes, covered with a towel. You’ll want the room temperature to be warm, around 25°C (78°F).
3. After 30 minutes, add in the sea salt. You can gently rub the salt into the dough with your fingers.
4. Place the dough on a clean counter or a large cutting board and lightly flour the surface. Here’s where you’ll do a technique that’s called “slap and fold” for around 5 minutes: Stretch out the dough into a rectangular shape and slap this against the surface.
Once the dough is laying flat on the surface, fold the bottom end over into the center. Stretch out the dough again and repeat several more times in the 5 minute period. You’ll find that the dough starts to hold together better and is smoother after this process.
5. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Place it back in the bowl, and cover with a towel for this resting period.
6. After 30 minutes of resting, you’ll do a set of what’s called “stretch and fold.” This is more gentle than the “slap and fold.” Stretch the dough into a rectangular shape and fold the bottom edge into the centre. Then fold the upper edge into the centre.
7. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with the towel to rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat another set of stretch and fold after the 30 minutes.
8. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with the towel to rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat a third set of stretch and fold after the 30 minutes.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with the towel, and this time let it rest for 2 to 2.5 hours. During this time you should see the dough rise, about 30-50%.
10. After resting place the dough on your clean counter top or cutting board again and lightly shape into a round. Experienced sourdough bakers call this the pre-shape step. You can let this rest for 20 minutes. While the dough is resting, line a colander or bowl (or use a proofing basket known as a banneton, if you have one) with a towel and lightly flour it.