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Here is a simple homemade sourdough bread recipe (no yeast). Sourdough bread is made from a sourdough starter. If you don’t have one or don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, no worries. I’ve included a recipe for making your own homemade sourdough starter too!
This is actually my husband’s recipe and it is simply the best! Sourdough is my favorite kind of bread and my kids love it too. We go through one loaf within a few days.
This recipe is for EVERYONE! Except chefs, bakers, and those who want things extra complicated. Life is already too complicated, why should bread be? Bread making should be SIMPLE. Bread is one of the earliest known human staples, so everyone should feel good about at least attempting to make a loaf of bread before throwing in the towel. What do you have to lose?
A few cups of flour is all, so don’t cry. Imagine if you had somehow messed up cooking 4 pounds of crab legs! It’s not the end of the world. You might think it is since there is no bread in the grocery stores right now. So now’s the perfect time to get started making your own sourdough starter and bread at the comfort of your own home!
The main point here is that sourdough bread making is a very forgiving practice, and sourdough can be used so many different ways from pita breads, bagels, tortillas, garlic breads, pizza (including deep dish pizza dough), biscuits, pancakes, waffles, you name it. A simple sourdough starter recipe should also be accompanied by a plain and simple sourdough bread recipe, which is posted right after, so keep scrolling!
Simple Sourdough Starter Recipe
- Put equal parts organic flour* and filtered water* into a mason jar. Any flour will do, really; most use all purpose flour, but bread flour will work great too.
- Cover with muslin cloth, paper towel, or kitchen towel and secure with rubber band or string.
- Let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few days or until bubbly.
Maintaining the Sourdough Starter
Every day or two, add equal parts flour and equal parts water. If you notice your starter getting a little doughy or dry, add a little more water than flour. If you notice your starter getting a little more runny, add a little more flour than water. Simple.
The starter is so forgiving! It’s not going to die all of a sudden like an indoor plant would. Just remember to show it some love once in a while. If you can’t, then stick it in the refrigerator for a week or so. When you pull it out, feed it some love, and continue. When you use your sourdough starter use everything but about a fourth cup of starter.
*Using tap water and/or non-organic flour will only add unknown variables that may alter the results.
Now it is ready to incorporate into a sourdough bread recipe!
Simple Homemade Sourdough Bread Recipe
For making sourdough bread, throw as much starter into a bowl as you can spare, reserving just about one fourth cup of starter in the mason jar for future batches. Remember to continue feeding your sourdough culture some love. Don’t forget about it. As for how much starter you should use, just play around with it! Personally, I like using a lot of sourdough starter to give the finished bread product a strong sourdough flavor. If you use a lot of starter, you’ll end up having to use a little less water. It’s just a balancing equation.
- 2 Cups Sourdough Starter
- 3 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Water
- Up to 1 TBSP Salt
- Brown rice flour (only if you have it)
- In the bowl with the sourdough starter, add two cups of flour to start.
- Sprinkle about a tablespoon of salt in the bowl (use less salt if you’re turned off by it).
- Add only a half cup of water (filtered is best) to the bowl to start.
- Add a little more flour/water every other minute until the flour/water are all used up, and mix the ingredients together, either by hand or with a dough whisk.
- Knead and fold the dough for up to ten minutes. You’ll want the dough to be slightly moist, but not wet, and not dry. The dough should not stick to your fingers or rolling surface, and if it does, simply coat the dough and your hands with more flour.
- Once the dough becomes one nice smooth, elastic ball, it is ready to proof. Brown rice flour helps the dough to not stick to the bowl, and a good technique for applying the brown rice flour is to grab a couple tablespoons with your hand and just sprinkle it on top of the dough, grab the dough from the sides, then turn upside down and place in a deep, floured mixing bowl. Sprinkle some brown rice flour along the sides of the dough in the bowl.
- Cover with a damp cloth and allow about six to eight hours for it to rise. You’ll want the dough to about double in size, so it needs to be somewhere relatively warm, like near a sunny windowsill or on top of a refrigerator. Sourdough takes longer to rise than typical yeast breads. Depending on the variables, it may take up to 24 hours to fully rise.
- When you are ready to bake, follow this foolproof way to get a baker quality loaf of sourdough bread by continuing below.
Baking Your Sourdough Bread:
- Take your largest sized dutch oven (here is the dutch oven we use for bread making and for cooking anything really) with lid and place into your oven on the top rack.
- Set oven temperature to 500. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
- When timer goes off, lower oven temperature to 450.
- Remove dutch oven from oven, remove lid.
- Carefully dump the risen loaf into the hot dutch oven. Many times the dough will be sticking to the sides of the bowl. This is not a big problem to the non-chefs out there since it’s what’s inside that counts. Using a dough scraper or the brown rice flour (see step 10 above) will help it come out.
- Once the dough hits the hot dutch oven, take a sharp knife and cut an X or any other awesome symbol you want to help it open up in the oven.
- Place lid on the dutch oven, and then put the dutch oven in the oven on the top rack.
- Set the oven timer for 20 minutes.
- After the 20 minutes, remove the lid from the dutch oven. This sometimes involves carefully removing the hot dutch oven from the oven in order to remove the lid.
- Set another 20 minutes on the timer.
- After the 20 minutes is up, remove the dutch oven from the oven and turn it over to let the bread fall out onto a cutting board or cookie sheet.
- Let it cool. The bread should be nice and perfectly brown.
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