Sourdough Bread

Yesterday I shared my recipe for a sourdough starter and said I’d share my recipe for actual sourdough today. Since I’m apparently only as good as my word, I’ll keep it. I could use the help. So here’s the list of ingredients, for starters:

  • 2 cups (440 grams) of starter
  • 1.5 cups (355 ml) lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams)  sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) kosher salt
  • 4 cups (544 grams) of bread flour
  • Or, if you want whole wheat, 2.5 cups (340 grams) bread flour and 1.5 cups (204 grams) whole wheat
  • Patience. This recipe takes forever. Sorry, I don’t have a metric measurement for this but I assume “lots of” is universal

I use a stand mixer with a dough hook, which I recommend. If you don’t have one, I’m sorry your family doesn’t love you enough to buy you one, but they have given you the gift or rock-hard forearms. Either way, in a bowl, add half the flour, the salt, the sugar, and the starter. Then add the rest of the flour. Starter is like the blob and will stick to literally fucking everything, so you want it sandwiched (get it?) between enough flour that you can at least start mixing without it just being a goopy mess.

Slowly pour in the water as it mixes. It will get messy and gross for a while, until the gluten forms, don’t panic. It’s mostly harmless. Knead for around 10 minutes; it will get stretchy and smooth. Coat in a little bit of oil or cooking spray all over (so it doesn’t stick). Now, cover it in plastic and stick it in the fridge for 12-14 hours.

It’s the next day! Pull out (Phrasing) your bowl (oh…) and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours, or at least that’s what the original recipe says.

I like to fill a skillet halfway with water and bring it to a boil, shut off the heat, then place a ramekin or small bowl upside down in the water and put the dough bowl on that. The warm, moist air brings the temperature up quicker and gets the yeast are frisky and farty. After 2 hours, add the following:

  • 1/2 cup (68 grams) bread flour
  • 1 more teaspoon (5 grams) salt

Knead for another 7-10 minutes. This will gluten it up enough to give your hippie neighbor sympathetic gastric distress. Now cover it with plastic and let it just sit for 10 minutes. After that, just split it in two (this makes 2 loaves) and either put them in bread pans, or make those cool round loaves for extra rusticness.

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Cover with plastic and let them set for about 3 hours. I use the hot-water thing for this too, instead put a cookie sheet over the hot water and place the loaves on top. Preheat the oven to 450° F (233° C) and use a sharp knife to put some cuts in the top of the bread. This is important although I don’t know why.

Okay, I googled it. It’s so the bread can expand properly. Also it’s called “scoring” so you might be a hideous freak, but you can always score with bread. Get it?

Please don’t fuck your bread. (Or do. Hey, you aren’t hurting anyone. Just decency and fresh bread.)

Put an oven-safe pan or skillet in the oven filled halfway with water. Brush the top of your bread with some milk or melted butter, or even just spritz it with some cooking spray, then sprinkle some salt on them. Bake for 30 minutes. When the bread is done, you’ll be able to tell because they sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Be careful, because it’s hot because it just came out of the oven.

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I don’t have a lawyer so I’m being very specific. If you hurt yourself, I gave you fair warning.

Put the loaves (out of the pans if you cooked in them) on a cooling rack and admire how awesome you are. I recommend trying some while it’s still warm because it is fucking awesome right out of the oven.

Cut it with a bread knife, it’s what they’re for.

*cough*

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