Hello friends! Today we are talking all things SOURDOUGH! I was too intimidated to bake sourdough bread for the longest time. It seemed too tedious and involved. A few of my close friends started serving it at our dinner parties, and I knew I had to dive in. One of my friends gave me some of her starter, and it’s been an addiction ever since! I love the feeling of providing my family with quality bread that isn’t packed full of unnecessary ingredients and preservatives. Also, there is no better gift than a beautiful loaf of homemade bread. Sourdough bread acts as a prebiotic, which means that the fiber in the bread helps feed the “good” bacteria in your intestines. These bacteria are important for maintaining a stable, healthy digestive system. Sourdough is also lower in gluten than other forms of bread.
Thank you to Berkley Martin for the lovely photos!
Active sourdough starter (You can get some from a friend OR buy online! I am willing to share as well!)
Jar for sourdough starter
Jar cover for sourdough starter (There are some CUTE ones on this Etsy shop!)
Large bowl or kitchen bucket
Dutch oven (I have a designated dutch oven just for bread baking. The high temperatures will leave scorch marks.)
Razor blade for scoring
Unbleached all purpose or bread flour (King Arthur Flour is my favorite!)
Bread box to keep your loaf soft and fresh longer
Paper bread loaf bags for gifting to family and friends
Not all of these supplies are 100% necessary, but they make the job easier! Who doesn’t love aesthetic bread baking items?!
Feeding your starter
I leave my covered starter jar out on my counter top because I use it to bake often. Each morning, I scoop out half of the starter and rather throw it away or bake a discard recipe with it for breakfast. You can make scones, waffles, pancakes, cookies, etc. with your sourdough discard. These chocolate chip scones are my family’s favorite!
Next, I add 1 cup of unbleached King Arthur flour and 1 cup of warm filtered water to my jar. I stir it well and let it sit. Within a couple of hours (thanks to the Louisiana humidity), it will bubble to the top of the jar which means you are ready to start your bread!
Day 1: Preparing your loaf.
I am a big fan of Alexandra’s Kitchen’s sourdough recipe. It never fails, and it is easy to follow and memorize the steps (so this is pretty much my recap.) I like to think of it as one day of work, and the next day your bread is ready to score and bake! I feed my starter in the morning, and once it bubbles to the top of the jar, I start my sourdough loaf! Using your scale and kitchen bucket, you will mix together:
375 grams of warm filtered water
100 grams of bubbly, active starter
2 tsp of sea salt
500 grams of flour
Mix these ingredients together to form a rough dough. Cover it, and let it rise for 30 minutes.
It’s time to do your first set of stretch and folds. Perform four total sets of stretches and folds every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. You should notice the dough getting stronger and more elastic with every set of stretches and folds.
Let your dough rise for the rest of the day in a warm, humid place in your kitchen (6-8 hours.) It should double in size.
Before going to bed, I shape my loaf and get it ready for baking the next day! Transfer dough in banneton to fridge for 12 to 48 hours.
Day 2: The fun and rewarding part! Baking your loaf.
Preheat your oven, with your dutch oven inside 450 degrees. Remove bowl from fridge, and turn your dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Next, I sprinkle and rub extra flour on the top of the loaf. Then using my razor, I score my design into the dough. The easiest way is to make an X shape so the heat has a way of escaping while baking. You can get really fancy with your scoring with leaf patterns, etc. I love getting inspiration from Sour Flour. Transfer to preheated Dutch oven by lowering the parchment paper with your loaf slowly into it. Bake covered at 450ºF for 30 minutes; uncover, lower the temperature to 400ºF, and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until golden brown. Let it cool off before slicing into it. The loaf is supposed to be crusty on the top and bottom and nice and fluffy like a pillow in the middle. Mmmmm!
Serving it up!
My family’s FAVORITE way to eat our sourdough is by slicing it, and spreading Kerrygold butter and local raw honey on each slice. Not all butter is created equal, so we stick with the good stuff.
My fave way to eat avocado toast:
Smashed avocado sprinkled with everything but the bagel seasoning, lemon juice drizzled on top
A fried egg
Sprouts or microgreens
Pickled red onion
Salt + pepper on top
It is quite the treat!
A sweet way to enjoy your sourdough:
Spread ricotta cheese on your bread
Drizzle lemon juice + lemon zest on the ricotta
Top with sliced figs or blueberries
Drizzle with honey
Even better than eating the bread, I LOVE to gift it to friends and family!