Baking an Amazing Homemade Sourdough

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I have been looking into saving money with just making my own loaves of bread at home. It has been hard to find a good recipe to fully replace your everyday sandwich bread. Tried ciabatta, it was good. It was meant for something more than just your daily bread. I then tried a brioche bread and I genuinely loved but it had the same factor as the ciabatta. Then it had dawned on me that I haven’t tried a homemade sourdough bread before, maybe I should try it. This is the guide to baking an amazing homemade sourdough.

I learned a dozen bread recipes on the job. All of which are recipes I could use but not any of them seemed like they were a good fit. I wanted something special to me.

Before you Bake this Amazing Homemade Sourdough Bread

I had started a sourdough starter a few days ago. So far, it is going very well. I just so happened to find an old mason jar I was previously going to use and make into little herb jars to hold my basil, thyme and others. After that project failed miserably the jars themselves were just stored in a cabinet above my sink and forgotten.

I began looking at different methods and I understood from making ciabatta you have to have a sour starter. I looked on Pinterest and Instagram at different recipes that could really work. There is one article that explained how wild yeasts float through the air and on all different surfaces waiting to find a sugar to eat and multiply. They basically do what any organic organisms do, eat and reproduce.

I have been talking to a friend that has gotten me into the idea of harvesting wild yeast. We don’t have time at the moment to go out and harvest wild yeast. I had decided to speed up the process by just adding yeast to a flour and water mixture.

Making the Sourdough Starter

I started the mixture on Friday before going to work. I figured since I have Sunday, Monday, and Tuesdays off I should have enough time to make my own bread. So, I started with one cup of flour, one cup of water and 1/8 of a tsp of active dry-yeast. I then poured to slurry like mixture into one of my many quart sized mason jars (I had to clean because of the setting dust from sitting in my cabinet) and covered it with a cheesecloth.

Sour Starter

I did all of this about thirty minutes before heading to work to work the dinner service. After I came home from work around midnight, I was eager to see the progress of the starter. Picking up the container it had already grown to half the size of the jar.

For the next few days I watched as the organisms that were present in the starter grow and multiply as I fed them equal parts water and flour. By the third day I was already smelling the sour coming from the fermentation of the starter. I got super excited and began looking at different sourdough recipes to finally create a loaf to try. I found one that appeared to be worthy.

Making the Dough

I read the recipe and began preparing the actual sourdough. As I was reading the recipe I scrolled past the ingredients and noticed that it had called for a Tablespoon of sugar which I know isn’t a lot, I have been kind of veering off from using sugar directly in recipes and using honey as a substitute instead. With this recipe I used honey and half the sugar.

Note: Sugar does help with the holding of the gluten strands, don’t completely ignore using sugar in a bread recipe.

Once I am able to finish the sugar that I have in my cabinet I think I will use the extra dry container for a different flour. I did read that Rye flour is really good to have in your starter so maybe a little down the road I will start using rye in my starter instead of the bleached flour I am now. I don’t recommend bleached flour in a starter because the bleaching kills off any organic microbes that are found in the flour.

Try out this brand of flour!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C Milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 3/4 C Flour
  • 1 C Sourdough Starter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Egg (room temp)
  • 15g Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/8 C sugar

If you don’t have any loaf pans check this out, set of 2 for less than $15!

Time needed: 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Make That Bread!

  1. Activate the Yeast

    Warm Milk to around 110 Degrees, add butter, yeast, sugar and egg. Mix till butter is incorporated, let sit for 5 minutes

  2. Mix Milk and Starter

    Mix together milk and starter and other ingredients (not flour) on medium in a stand mixer. incorporate flour slowly until dough ball is sticking to the hook. Mix for 10 minutes.

  3. 1st Proof

    Oil a non-reactive bowl with olive oil and turn dough out into bowl and flip once to coat dough with oil, let rest for 1 hour.

  4. 2nd Proof

    knead dough in bowl until inside out and let rest again for 30 minutes
    after second 30 minutes are up flip dough out onto floured surface and oil or butter the inside of a 9×5 loaf pan lightly. roll dough lightly as to not press all the air out of it into a log like shape.

  5. 3rd Proof

    leave loaf alone for up to 1-hour or doubled in size.

  6. Bake

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. and slit the top of the loaf with a serrated knife to improve even cooking. cook for 35-45 minutes depending on how well your oven works and rotate every 10-15 minutes.

I had a beautiful crispy loaf of sourdough. Almost couldn’t resist trying it right out of the oven because I usually can’t resist the smell of fresh baked bread. Had to step away for a while the bread cooled and hardened up a bit.

Baking an Amazing Homemade Sourdough

Tasting the Sour

Had to cut that first slice and grab the butter, smeared a nice layer to the slice and scarfed it down. I was ecstatic at how well this tasted and I’m excited to keep using this same starter because it’ll only become more complex in flavor as the days go on.

Future Plan for Baking an Amazing Homemade Sourdough

I will also be working on this starter throughout the next few weeks and try to monitor it, so I don’t end up killing it. If I can have a sourdough starter that ends up being a few months old I feel like the complex sour flavor I know it will only get better. Day three on this starter and it already has a most amazing flavor, I can’t wait to see what a few weeks or even months is capable of!

To read the article about how I made my starter and where it is at now visit here

Do you have any great homemade sourdough recipes I should try or any recipes in general I should try?

 Leave a comment and let me know!



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