Sourdough Bread Recipe

This is my go to recipe for sourdough bread.  I make at least one loaf a week.  It is delicious when toasted and slathered with real, grass-fed butter!

Keep in mind that this will be a two day process.  The first day is spent developing the dough.  It sits in the refrigerator overnight and is baked the next day.

Homemade Bread
Photo Credit: Foundry/cropped and added text


Ingredients

 Procedure
  1. Mix the flour, starter, salt and water together in a large mixing bowl.  Don’t try to get them “well combined”, just make sure that the flour is moistened.  At this point it will look like a mess.  Nothing like bread dough.
  2. Cover the bowl (I like to use a shower cap) and let it sit for 30 minutes.  This is called the autolyze technique.
  3. Move the dough to a different bowl and knead inside the bowl for about 30 seconds.  Cover again and let sit for another 30 minutes.
  4. Pull the dough 4 times and cover and let sit for another 30 minutes.
  5. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for a total of 4 times.
  6. Let the dough sit, at room temperature, in its covered bowl for 3-6 hours.  This is called the bulk fermentation.
  7. Move the dough while it’s still in the covered bowl to the refrigerator and keep in there for 8-24 hours.
Baking
  1.  I like to bake my bread on my stoneware baking sheet.
  2. About 1-5 hours before you are ready to bake; take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit, while still covered, on the counter.
  3. At least 30 minutes before you are ready to bake; place the stoneware baking sheet on the middle rack and preheat the oven to 400 F. 
  4. Before putting your bread in the oven, fill a shallow pan with water and place it on the lowest oven rack.
  5. Shape your dough into a long loaf and place on the heated stone which is in your oven.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Take the stone out of the oven and remove the bread loaf from the stone.  Cool on a wire rack for at least one hour before slicing.
  8. I find it helpful to store the bread in a plastic bag.  This keeps the crust soft and that will make it easier to slice.  After about 3 days slice any remaining bread and store in the freezer.

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