As a kid, bread and butter were one of my favorite foods. Every time my family took me to Outback Steakhouse, I would eat loaf after loaf of their free pumpernickel bread and butter that is complimentary. I did the same at the local Italian restaurants. Needless to say, I have sampled a lot of bread and there is one type that sticks out in my opinion as the best. Sourdough bread has a unique taste to it that makes it superior to other types. If you have not tried this delicious treat, then you are missing out and it’s about time you get to experience this amazing food.
To make sourdough bread you will need to make a starter first. What’s a starter? A starter is a dough mixture that you make and let sit at room temperature for five days. After five days, you will have a dough mixture that has fermented to have a sour taste. When you make your sourdough bread, you will start by making a large amount of regular bread dough, and then add in a small amount of the starter to that mixture. What you have left over from the “starter” can be kept in the fridge and ready on spot for the next time you want to make sourdough bread.
Starter kit ingredients
- 2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole rye or pumpernickel flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 packet dry yeast or 1 1/4 teaspoon
Bread dough ingredients
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 cup starter
- 1 tablespoon salt
1. The first thing you will do is make the starter by combining one packet of dry yeast and 2 cups of room temperature water into a glass bowl. Mix and let sit for five minutes. Then add 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of whole rye flour, and 1 tablespoon of sugar into the glass bowl. Mix the ingredients well, cover the bowl with cling wrap, and leave out at room temperature for five days.
2. On day five, your starter kit has finished the fermentation process and you are now ready to start making your bread. Scoop out one cup of the starter and put the rest in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Sourdough starter never goes bad because it’s fermented, so you can use the same starter over and over again in the future. This way you will not have to wait five days next time you want to make sourdough bread.
3. Combine 1 cup of your starter with 4 cups bread flour, 1 1/4 cup water, and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large mixing bowl. Next, knead the dough mixture for 20 minutes if you are kneading by hand or 10 minutes if you are using a machine.
4. After you have finished kneading the dough, place a towel over the bowl and let it rise for at least 12 hours.
5. Place the dough that has finished rising on a large board covered with flour. Knead risen dough for five minutes and then let it rise for another 4 hours. Next, score an X on the top of the dough with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut too deep. Then place the dough ball into a large dutch oven.
6. Preheat oven to 480 degrees.
7. Bake the bread in the Dutch oven with the lid on for 30 minutes.
8. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes to finish cooking the bread and also to brown the top.
Your starter will last forever, but you have to “feed your starter” as it’s called. This is simply referring to the fact that to keep your active yeast alive, the component responsible for making the bread rise, you must feed it about a teaspoon of sugar a week. Otherwise, the yeast will die off in the starter will go bad.