Baking sourdough bread needs not be labor intensive or time consuming. You can just fit it in your daily routine. With proper tools and scheduling, you will find the whole process relaxing and fun. Baking is a great way to do away the stress of the day, makes you decompress and enjoy a newly baked, hot and crispy bread. Who doesn’t love it?
- Oven - Preheat to 446°F
- Baking Stone - Preheat to 446°F
- Stand Mixer
- Digital Kitchen Scale
- Banneton Basket
- Bread Lame
- Glass Bowl
- Cast Iron Skillet
EASY BAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD
- Servings: 4
- Preparation Time: 20H
- Cooking Time: 30M
- Total Time: 20H 30M
- Difficulty: Easy
INGREDIENTS: (All measurements are by weight except TBS and tsp.)
- 16 oz warm water at 95°F
- 1¼ tsps dry yeast
- 15¾ oz bread flour
- 1 TBS sugar dough
- 18 oz bread flour
- 2 tsps salt
- 12½ oz warm water at 95°F
- 7 oz starter
STARTER: Mix warm water and yeast into a glass bowl, stir and let it stand for 2 minutes. Add flour and sugar, and mix well with spatula until all ingredients are fully combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, not to tightly, store in a dark place at room temperature.
Stir the culture every 12 hours for 5 days. Save the remaining culture in a sealable jar for next use and refrigerate. (Note: Feed the culture one teaspoon of sugar once a week. When the amount is low, replenish with 1 cup flour and ½ cup warm water. Refrigerate the culture but take it out to room temperature overnight before baking.)
DOUGH: Combine flour, salt, water and starter into a large mixing bowl respectively. Stir using a wooden spoon, making sure flour is fully incorporated. Knead the mixture for 8-10 minutes on low setting. This produces soft, stretchy dough but does not stick to the hand or the side of the mixing bowl.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand for 2 hours in a warm place. This is the first rise.
On a floured surface, knead the dough slightly by hand using stretch and fold method 10-15 times. Mold to fit the banneton basket while securing the seam.
Dust the banneton basket with handful of flour and sprinkle the dough as well. Place the dough into the proofing basket seam side up.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it proof overnight or 8-12 hours in a warm place. This is the second rise.
Transfer the dough to a parchment paper covered tray upside down (seam on the bottom). Score the dough on the surface with a bread lame to your preferred signature design.
Place a cast iron skillet on the bottom rock with 1 cup hot water to create steam. Slide the dough onto the baking stone carefully.
Bake for 30 minutes at 446°F (230°C) or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in a cooling rack.
You need to produce starter from scratch, no mother or old culture. For this step, use warm water to dissolve the dry yeast. Neither too hot for it will kill the yeast added nor too cold for it will take longer to grow. An ideal water temperature of 95°F (35°C) recommended. Let the culture stand in a dark place or away from sunlight at room temperature in a loosely covered bowl. This step allowed culture to capture Lactobacilli bacteria and wild yeast from the surrounding. The metabolism of yeast produces carbon dioxide which leavens the dough. The metabolism of Lactobacilli bacteria produces lactic acid which develops the flavour of the bread.
(Note: When you have the culture already, feed it with one teaspoon of sugar once a week. When the amount is low, replenish with 1 cup of flour and 1⁄2 cup of warm water. Refrigerate the culture but take it out to room temperature overnight before baking.)Knead the dough by using a mixer set on low (1) for 10 minutes. This slow process of kneading produces soft dough and increases elasticity. When the dough is stretchy and does not break, you know it achieved the desired elasticity. Then let the dough stand in a warm place for 2 hours. This first rise relaxes the dough. Make sure to cover the bowl so it will not dry up the dough. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead slightly on a floured surface and mold to fit the proofing basket by pressing and folding. Sprinkle flour on the dough and dust with a handful the proofing basket to prevent from sticking. The dough is then placed into the proofing basket, covered with cling wrap and let it stand overnight in a warm place. This is the second rise. By the end of the proofing period, the dough should double its size. Transfer the dough to the baking stone inside the oven upside down and score its surface with a sharp knife to your signature design. Bake for 30 minutes at 446°F (230°C). Knock the bottom of the bread and when it produces a hollow sound, you know it’s baked. To achieve the blistered and slashed crust, the technique is to use the baking stone and spray with water the inside of the oven to produce steam and increase humidity. This results to golden brown color and characteristic oven baked sourdough bread crust.