I bought myself a sourdough starter so I could make sourdough bread at home. I purchased the starter from here. It was very inexpensive and easy to grow into my own healthy supply. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a sourdough starter is, you can read a little bit about it here.
After feeding and building my starter up, over the course of four days, I was ready to give it a try and make my own sourdough bread. Basically the sourdough starter is used in place of the yeast. This bread was so easy and turned out great on my first try.
No Knead Sourdough Bread
You will need:
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (you can also use, bread flour, wheat, etc.)
1/4 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups purified water
In a large bowl mix together your flour and salt. In another bowl, or in a large liquid measuring cup stir your sourdough starter into your water so it dissolves. Next pour your water and starter liquid into your flour mixture and mix well without over mixing. Cover your dough tightly with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 18 hours.
Heavily flour your work surface, I bought a pastry cloth for this step, but have also put parchment paper on my counter top to avoid a mess. Place your dough in the center of the flour and gently spread it out across your surface a bit. You want to the fold the dough into thirds on top of itself and then in half again until it forms somewhat of a ball. Cover your dough with plastic wrap on your countertop and let it rest for 15 minutes.
For the final proofing stage, transfer your ball of dough into a large, towel lined and floured bowl or heavily floured proofing basket and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 2 hours. (You can also use a regular bowl sprayed with cooking oil and then floured. You don’t want your dough to stick in this final proofing stage.)
After an hour and a half of rising, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees and place your french oven, la cloche or other means of baking your bread inside the oven to pre-heat as well. After thirty minutes, carefully remove your hot pot from the oven and gently place your dough inside. I sliced a couple of slits on top of my dough to make it pretty.
Cover your french oven or pot and place it into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 500 degrees. After the thirty minutes, remove the lid and reduce your oven temperature to 450. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.
You can also try making your own sourdough starter rather than buying one.
Photos by Bleubird.