There are a couple of things in life that are incredibly fulfilling, and one of them is to be able to make your own bread from scratch. And how could it not be? Bread is such a simple recipe, with only 4 ingredients, but it takes a lot of skill to make. There are a lot of things to consider when making sourdough bread from the quality of the ingredients right all the way down to the humidity levels in your kitchen!
A lot of things could go wrong, but the feeling you get when everything goes right is all worth it. Plus, imagine all the dishes you can make with the sourdough bread!
Making your own sourdough from scratch can definitely be a challenge. But it all comes down to practice, practice, practice.
But before you make your sourdough bread…
You need a sourdough starter. What is a sourdough starter? It’s a mixture of flour and water that has collected yeast and bacteria. Mmm, sounds delicious. This is an essential part of making sourdough bread, because this helps to leaven and flavor your bread. It’s simple to make, but the difficult part is time. You have to constantly feed the starter until it will be ready in 5-7 days (and continuously feed it after that if you want to keep making sourdough.)
Read this to learn how to make your own starter. It has everything you need to know from making one to taking care of it.
Now that you have your starter, let’s get started!
Tips to making sourdough bread:
- Invest in a digital kitchen scale. Baking requires precise measurements, most especially when baking bread. This is why recipes use weight (grams) instead of volume (cups) measurements. Invest in a digital scale to achieve the exact measurements needed for the recipe.
- Ambient temperature plays an important role. If you’re familiar with baking, you know that the temperature and humidity of your environment plays a factor in baking. Temperature plays a huge role in fermenting your dough. The ideal temperature for sourdough is from 24-26C.
- Let the dough proof overnight. An overnight proof will help continue fermentation and will help develop the flavors of the dough.
- 50g sourdough starter
- 350g water
- 380g unbleached wheat flour
- 95g rye flour
- 11g salt
- Mix sourdough starter with water, unbleached wheat flour, rye flour, and salt. Mix with your hands until a sticky dough forms. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 12 hours at 23C or in a slightly warm environment.
- Once rested, transfer to a flat surface and fold the four sides over itself. Flip and with a dough scraper, shape into a ball. Rest for 30 minutes.
- Flip the four sides over itself again and re-shape into a ball.
- Place in a bowl or a proofing basket that is lightly coated in flour. Let sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Place cast iron pot with a lid in an oven for 1 hour at 260C.
- Take the dough from the fridge and set on a sheet of baking paper. Score the top of the dough and place inside the cast iron pot.
- Lower the oven to 230C and bake the bread without the lid for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.