I love the slight tang of sourdough bread. I used to be intimidated by it, maintaining a starter. But as it turns out, the starter was really easy to make and maintain and the bread is way easier to make than that using store bought commercial yeast. Its also very customizable. You like it only slightly sour? Then only let it rise for part of the day. You long a really sour sourdough? Then let it rise overnight and all day before you bake it. It is also pretty forgiving. There are days where I prepare it in the morning and am not home all day to do the punch down and reshape step, and it still turns out just fine.
Sourdough bread is way better for you and just more satisfying than using conventional yeast. We try not to eat wheat unless its sprouted, soured, or soaked. It makes it more digestible and the nutrients more available to your body. We eat to nourish our bodies so we want to get as much out of our food as we can. We also only eat organic wheat because of all the round up that is sprayed on conventional wheat right before harvest.
Depending on the hydration level of your starter, the type of flour you use, how old your flour is, etc, you may need to add a little more flour or water to make it the proper consistency. That’s the deal with bread making, its hard to quantify the exact amount of flour and water. You kind of have to just get a feel/look for it.
You can add a 1/4 tsp each of garlic powder and rosemary or thyme for a variation. Serve with a little grass fed butter. There’s nothing better or more comforting, and nourishing too!
3 cups whole wheat flour (pastry, bread, white whole wheat, or a combination)
1 1/2 cups starter
1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
Place flour, starter, water, and salt into a stand mixer with the dough hook and mix until combined. Add more flour 1 Tbs at a time or more water one Tbs to reach desired consistency. You want it to be pretty wet but still hold its shape. Knead for 5 minutes.
Place on floured surface and cover with an upside down bowl. When you place the dough on the counter it should stay in a ball somewhat but it will spread out some. If it just completely flattens to the countertop, more flour needs to be added. If it’s a ball that you can just hold in your hand without it losing shape, more water needs to be added.
Let it rise for 8 hours up to 24. Half way through the rise, punch it down and reform it into a ball.
Heat up a dutch oven in a 425 F oven. Take it out, sprinkle in a little sprouted flour on the bottom, place your ball of dough in, put on the lid, and place it back in the oven. Let it cook for 20 minutes. Take off lid and cook another 10-15 depending on how browned you like the outside.
Take it out and let it cool on the countertop for 30 minutes before slicing. If you slice it right away, you will squash all those nice air bubbles inside.