Nothing warms the home like the smell of fresh baked bread. It’s warm, it’s comforting and most of all, it tastes amazing — most of the time. I have had a lot bread failures in my time. My homemade bread is not light and fluffy, it’s heavy and dense — until now. I have finally found a recipe that makes incredible tasting, light, airy bread.
If you are looking to make a loaf today, however, you have come to the wrong place.
The bread I am talking about is a sourdough bread. That sour flavour comes from the starter, which is essentially a fermented flour and water mix that you feed for a minimum of seven days before using. So, again, if you are looking to make bread today, this recipe won’t help. But, if you are planning to make homemade bread a week from now, or just want to make your own starter, follow along.
Making a starter was pretty easy. It begins with 3/4 C flour and 3/4 C spring water (this is key as chlorine in tap water can kill the active ingredients) in a mason jar. You stir it together until all of the lumps are gone then put it in a warm place. I put mine on top of my fridge. Next day, same thing. Day after, same thing. Day after that, same thing, I skipped a day since it seemed to have slowed down. Keep doing this until you get to day seven. You may to pour a little bit of the start out to make room for the continuous feedings. Once your starter is ready though, you will no longer have to waste any of the starter as you can bake with it.
After about day five or six you are going to want to start stirring the liquid layer back into the starter about twice a day.
After seven days, store your starter in the fridge and continue to feed it once a week. Instead of dumping the extra, make a loaf of bread.
Sourdough Bread from Scratch
- 1 1/4 C spring water
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
- 2 C starter
- 4-4 1/2 C all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp salt
Combine water and yeast in bottom of mixer bowl. Let sit a few minutes until yeast has dissolved. Add starter, stir until dissolved.
Add 4 cups of flour and salt, knead for eight minutes. Adding flour 1 Tbsp at a time if it becomes sticky.
Remove dough and clean bowl. Coat in olive oil and return bread to bowl. Let rise in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours.
Once dough has risen turn it out and divide into two balls. Let rest 20 minutes.
Shape dough into loaf pans and let rise for another 1.5 hours.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450.
When loaves have risen, cut slits in the tops and put in oven. Bake for 10 minutes than lower temperature to 400. Bake 30 minutes.
Makes two loaves.