Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread! And home made sourdough tops them all…. let me show you how.
I’m sure you have heard about the benefits of sour dough and thought about trying homemade sour dough at some point, but the complicated instructions and time consuming methods have scared you off. Well it did for me for a while until I tried a few recipes, different methods and found out just how simple it can be. I’m a no fuss cook and if a recipe has a million specially timed instructions I know, I mean I know…..that it just ain’t going to happen the way its supposed to, life can get in the way.
So after trying a few different ways, and cooking plenty of duds, I have fine tuned my technique into a no fuss simple recipe that I would love to share. This simple recipe with 3 basic ingredients will get you on your way to having an amazing fresh baked loaf on your table each morning. Ahhhhh can you smell it yet?
Sourdough Bread Recipe
- 3 cups unbleached bread flour
- 300 mls water at room temp
- 1cup active starter (bubbly)
- In a large glass bowl mix all of your ingredients roughly together with your hand. Cover and leave for 30mins.
- After 30mins tip your dough onto a floured surface. Now we are going to stretch and fold the dough. Grab the dough one each side and stretch it out and then fold it over and pinch it in the middle. Do this on each side till you have a bit of a ball, only do it once to each side. This will capture air inside the dough which helps it to rise. Now grab your beautiful little dough ball, flip it over so the pinched side is down and the smooth side is up, and place it back in your bowl, leave over night or for at least 8hrs to rise and double in size.
- Now your dough should be huge and filling your bowl at least double in size. Pre-heat your oven 200 degrees Celsius.
- Grease your bread tin or pot with some olive oil.
- Scrape your dough out onto a floured surface. Don’t punch it down as you want to keep all those bubbles. Now pull the outside edge and stretch it a little and fold back to the middle and pinch the folds together, shape it as you wish. Make it longer to go in a bread tin, or round to go in a large pot. I have been using bread tins as it makes the loaf easier to cut and the slices fit it the toaster well if you are putting it in a large pot try to pull the outside of the edges tight so it holds its shape. Place your loaf in the greased baking dish you chose with the folded side tucked neatly underneath and the smooth side on top. Let it proof 10-30 mins but for no more then 30 mins, this should not be over done. I normally do it for about 10mins in a warm spot .
- Slash the top with a sharp knife. Place in the oven for 40mins.
- Your loaf should have risen and be golden and crunchy on the outside now. Enjoy.
Ok so here are some things I have learnt along the way.
DO NOT forget to oil your bread tin! I forgot and had to dig that loaf out. Also a fail can still be used, as I just blended that loaf into bread crumbs, makes the best schnitzel, or croutons.
Sometimes I have skipped steps accidentally or impatiently. For example I mixed the ingredients together and forgot it and went to bed with out the stretch and folding, it all still doubled in size I did the stretch and fold it the morning and baked a great loaf. There have been other times when I have just put the loaves straight in the oven with out letting it rest the 10-30 mins before hand, and it still baked a great loaf. I’m telling you this so you realise that it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you have a great active, mature starter and good quality bread flour its very very easy.
When I’m baking bread I do two loaves as I’m already getting everything out anyway. I do all the preparation at night before bed, tip the ingredients in the bowls give it a quick mix with my hands and cover, let sit 30 mins, stretch and fold it and go to bed. In the morning I turn the oven on as soon as I’m up, I fold the dough and place it in the tins, have a cup of tea and then chuck them in the oven. By the time the last child is awake (the eldest is a sleepy head), the loaves are ready and toast is on the go.
When the loaves are cold I slice the bread and place it in a bag so that its sliced ready to go for use anytime. And the second loaf I do the same and we have it the next day, or it can go in the freezer for sliced bread another day
If you don’t have any sourdough starter you can make your own with these instructions on How to Make Sourdough Starter.