it’s here! it’s real! it’s sourdough bread! after all of my trial-and-error making sourdough starter, i was so excited to finally turn it into bread. and it worked! really! let me tell you, it was all totally worth it. there is something indescribably satisfying about making bread with nothing but flour, water, sugar, and salt. no added yeast, no added flavoring. and the final product is deliciously authentic.
this bread is everything you want sourdough to be: a crust that is crunchy but not tooth-breaking, and an interior that is light and fluffy, with that distinctively bright tanginess we know and love. it is perfect dipped in soup, as a base for a sandwich, with butter or jam, or just by itself.
getting this bread just right was a challenge. all of the recipes i looked at seemed to point back to the king arthur flour recipe, so i started with that. the flavor was great, but something was not quite right about the texture. a little research led me to find that annie had felt the same way. so i tried her recipe, and she totally hit the nail on the head. the main difference between this recipe and the king arthur one was swapping out some of the all-purpose flour for bread flour, which resulted in a bread with the perfect level of fluffiness. and despite all the complaining i have done about how long this process took, it was actually quite easy once i had found the right method. thanks, annie!
my one lingering concern is that the bread isn’t quite as hole-y as i wish. i’m not sure if that has something to do with the rising time, or if it’s because i don’t have a pizza stone. either way, the flavor here is totally spot-on and the final product is completely rewarding. but if anyone has suggestions about this, comment and let me know!
tangy, crusty, totally authentic sourdough bread.
- 1 cup fed sourdough starter*
- 1½ cups lukewarm water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons salt
- in a large bowl, combine the starter, water, and all-purpose flour. it will be sort of a gloppy mess at this point. cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 4 hours. transfer the covered bowl to the fridge and let it sit overnight, for at least 12 hours.
- put the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. add the bread flour, sugar, and salt. knead the ingredients together with the mixer on low speed – if it won’t all incorporate, add a tablespoon of water. you might need to use your hands to help the dough hook mix it all together. continue to let the mixer knead the dough, on low speed, until it is smooth and a little sticky, 5-10 minutes.
- put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. let it rise in a warm place for 3-4 hours, until it has doubled in volume.
- line a baking sheet with parchment paper. divide the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface, shape each half into a loaf. place the loaves on the baking sheet, cover them loosely with plastic wrap, and let them rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours, until they have doubled in volume again.
- towards the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 425°f. the recipe said to use a pizza stone, but i don’t have one, so i used an empty baking sheet turned upside-down – place this sheet (or your pizza stone) in while the oven is heating so that it is good and hot by the time you put the bread in. brush your loaves with some water and with a serrated knife, make 3 slashes about ½ to 1 inch deep in each loaf. immediately put the bread into the hot oven, placing it on top of the upside-down baking sheet/pizza stone. bake it for 25-30 minutes, until it is brown with a hard crust all over. take the loaves out and let them cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.