Making your own bread is really easy, not to mention a lot of fun! Sour dough is sometimes conceived as difficult, but it really isn’t. You make a “starter” and let it do it’s thing. The longer you let it sit the more “sour” it becomes. You can even make a loaf the day you begin the “starter” as I did with this loaf. Or you can store it in the fridge for a couple of weeks at a time. As long as you feed it (i.e. add flour from time to time) it can go on indefinitely in the fridge.
This version is a quick start. You whip up the “starter” in the morning and by the afternoon you’re making dough. Or if you don’t want to make it that day you can as I mentioned above store it in the fridge in a glass jar and feed it right before making the bread. The directions below are for making the day the “starter” begins, but trust me it’s a good loaf of bread either way!
What You’ll Need for the “Starter”:
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
1/2 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
In a large glass jar mix together water, sugar, yeast and flour and stir to mix. (Note: Use wooden utensils and avoid letting metal or plastic touch the “starter”) Let sit for at least 1 hour to overnight to proof.
As you can see above my “starter” got a little happy and crawled right out of the jar. That doesn’t usually happen, but sometimes yeast just has a mind of its own.
What You’ll Need to Make the Bread:
1 “starter”, proofed
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of warm water
2-3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
In a large bowl add starter, salt and water. Stir to mix. Slowly add flour until dough ball forms. (Note: You made need some, all or possibly even just a bit more flour. It all depends on humidity and such. You want dough you can handle without sticking to your hands.)
Once dough is formed turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes until dough is elastic. Shape into a ball, place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper and score the top of the loaf:
Let rise for 30 minutes to an hour or until the loaf has risen:
Set oven to 400 F.
Add risen dough to the oven as it preheats instead of waiting for the oven to preheat. Bake for 30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped and is golden brown.
Notes: I haven’t tried this yet with whole grain flours, but I plan to do that the next time around.