Sourdough Bread Recipe

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Craft crusty sourdough bread at home! This easy recipe guides you through making a sourdough starter & baking a delicious loaf.

Sourdough Bread Recipe

Sourdough bread is a crusty, flavorful bread made with a fermented dough starter. The starter cultures natural yeasts and bacteria, giving the bread its unique tang and airy texture.

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TIPS:

Adjusting Hydration Levels

Higher hydration (above 75%) creates a more open crumb but requires advanced handling.
Lower hydration (60-70%) yields a denser crumb but is easier to manage.

Experimenting with Different Flours

Mix all-purpose with rye or whole wheat flour for added complexity.
Sprouted and spelt flours can also bring unique flavors.

Cold Fermentation

Extending the final proofing time in the refrigerator develops deeper flavors.
Cold fermentation also makes scoring easier.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

Sourdough Bread

Refresh Your Sourdough Starter:

1. Feed your starter 8-12 hours before making your dough, to ensure it’s active and bubbly.

Make the Dough:

1. In a large bowl, combine the active sourdough starter with lukewarm water and mix until the starter is mostly dissolved.

2. Gradually add the flour to the mixture, then the salt, stirring until incorporated. Once it gets too stiff to stir, start kneading.

3. Then place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 3 to 5 hours depending on the room temperature.

5. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a round loaf or any shape you prefer.

6. Place the shaped dough into a well-floured proofing basket or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

7. Cover and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 1 to 2 hours.

8. Preheat your oven: At least 30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven, or you can use an inverted baking tray.

9. Prepare to bake: If you have a Dutch oven, place it in the oven to preheat as well. Carefully transfer the dough onto the preheated stone or into the preheated Dutch oven.

Score the dough: Just before baking, make a shallow cut across the top of the dough with a sharp knife or a bread lame. This allows the dough to expand freely.

10. Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on if using a Dutch oven. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and reduce the temperature to 400°F (200°C); continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

11. Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before cutting it.

Continue to the next page for the list of ingredients and print the recipe!

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