MY SOURDOUGH STARTER IS READY, NOW WHAT?
For an instant gratifictionst like me, the process of making sourdough bread can be sour indeed. What gets me is the anticipation not the labor – the mixing, kneading and shaping is pretty easy. It’s the the 50 hours I have to wait until I can slice the bread and smear it with avocado. 24 hours to proof the sourdough starter with flour, another 24 hours to proof the dough, 1 hour to bake the breads and 1 hour to let it cool down (You skip the cooling down if you want your bread to be firm and airy). The good news is that by the third time you make it you are less impatient. Consider it as a lesson in patience and gratitude.
The first time is always a bit confusing, so don’t give yourself shit. If you follow the instructions and give it the time it needs, you’ll be talking about your boule for days or weeks. I tried to make the instructions as clear as possible, however it’s a lot of information. Print the recipe if you can and read it thoroughly before you dive in. Said the woman who consistently jumps into recipes without reading them first.
Step By Step Sourdough Bread
- Baking paper
- Plastic wrap or bag
- Large bowl
- 2 Dutch ovens or oven proof pots
- Wooden Spoon
- In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together 1 cup starter + 1 cup flour + 1 cup water until well combined.
- Cover loosely with a plastic wrap or bag and store in a warm place overnight (minimum 12 hours).
- • • Seal the starter container with a lid and store in the fridge. Feed it at least once a week.
- Add to the same bowl 5 cups flour + 1 tablespoon salt + 2 cups water.
- Mix together with one hand until a wet sticky dough is formed (don’t be tempted to add flour yet. If the dough is too dry add a little bit of water). Knead the dough for 10 mins, it should get less sticky as you knead it. Roll it into a ball, flour the bowl and put it back in the bowl.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for minimum 14 hours.
- Remove from the fridge. Knead the dough in the bowl, flatten it and fold the corners into the center repeatedly, for 10 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 2 equal size pieces and shape them into balls or logs, flour them.
- Line a Dutch oven, heavy pot or loaf pan with baking paper or flour and put the balls in them.
- Cover the pots loosely with a plastic bag and let the bread proof in a warm place for 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F/220°C.
- Score the bread with a sharp knife or razor blade. *
- Put the lids on the pots and bake for 40 minutes.
- Carefully remove the pots from the oven and quickly remove their lids (keep your hands covered, and don't do this in the oven. You can burn yourself).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they get a nice golden color. Let them cool completely.
- You can slice the breads and put them in plastic bags and freeze them.