My friend Sarah’s dad, Joe, recently got into breadmaking, and he has educated her on the art of the sourdough starter. She has some serious starter going, and she recently posted on Facebook that she had extra to spare. My lovely fiancé, a sourdough bread lover, volunteered me to “adopt” some, and of course, I was game. Sarah dropped it off last Friday, and this past Sunday I made my first loaves! It’s been a while (like, two years) since I made a no-knead loaf, and wow, there is nothing like a slice of warm bread fresh out of the oven. Thank you, Sarah and Joe!
Sourdough is a little tricky – you have to “feed” the starter and make sure to bake with either “fed” or “unfed” starter depending on the recipe. I found an article that goes into sourdough tips and tricks in great depth on the best of all baking websites, King Arthur Flour. If you don’t have any awesome baking friends with starter to share (and even if you do), it’s a great resource. Good luck!
Country Sourdough Boule
makes 2 8-inch rounds
This is adapted from a recipe that was adapted from Local Breads by Daniel Lender. I haven’t seen the original, so I don’t know how close this is…I just know it worked for me! The yeast is optional, but I was in a time crunch so I used it to speed things along and that is how I’ll present the recipe…this time.
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
- 2 3/4 cup unbleached bread flour (I like King Arthur)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Run on low for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
- Place in an oiled bowl (I just put a little oil in the KitchenAid bowl and roll the dough around), cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size. Don’t let it rise to more than double its original size.
- Remove dough from bowl and cut in half. Form each half into a round and let rise on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 450F. Cut an “X” into the top of each loaf. Place a shallow baking pan with 1/2 cup of water on the bottom oven rack, and place the pan with the loaves on the top rack.
- Bake at 450F for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temp to 400F for the next 20-25 minutes. When the loaves are a nice golden brown, they’re ready.
*Technically, you’re supposed to let a loaf of bread cool completely before cutting into it…but truly, there’s nothing like a warm slice of bread slathered with butter. We voted to cut into one and let the other cool…and it was so worth it.