This sourdough bread recipe will allow you to have a fresh and handmade at the comfort of your home. Sourdough bread is a treasured recipe for many homesteaders. This delicious, no-nonsense bread is economical and very easy to make. It does require a little planning ahead and takes a bit more time to make predominantly because you need to make a sourdough starter to make the bread. Rest assured, the extra time and effort will all be worth it in the end.
Simple Sourdough Bread Recipe To Try At Home
Deliciously Simple Sourdough Bread Recipe
Every sourdough bread begins with a sourdough starter. The sourdough starter is what makes the bread rise and gives its tangy flavor (ranging from mild to strong). If you don't have a sourdough starter yet, learn how to make one yourself here.
Ready for your first sourdough bread? Start making one using this easy-to-follow sourdough bread recipe!
- 2/3 cup active, fed starter
- 1 cup water, preferably filtered
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 1/4 bread flour (not all-purpose)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- fine ground cornmeal, for dusting
Step 1: Start Making Your Dough
Add the starter, flour, water, and olive oil. Use your bare hands to squish them together until all the flour has been absorbed. Leave the dough to ‘autolyze' for 30 minutes.
The autolyze method is also known as the delayed salt method. This refers to a resting period by which the flour hydrates and gluten begins to develop. What this all means for your bread is that your dough will be easier to handle and shape before it is baked, and the end product will be that sensational uneven sourdough texture you'll find in all the great sourdough bread.
After autolyze, add the salt. Sprinkling a bit of water to the dough will help dissolve it. Lift, fold, and squish the dough. It is important to know that at this point, your dough may tear slightly as you fold. Don't panic, this is normal.
Step 2: Ferment the Dough
Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for a couple of hours or until it has doubled in size.
The number of hours for a sourdough bread to rise will take longer than your ordinary leavened bread because of the absence of commercial yeast. During summer, it can take anywhere between 4-5 hours and about 6-12 hours during winter.
Step 3: Start Cutting and Shaping the Dough
It is a good practice to divide your work surface in half before cutting and shaping the dough. Lightly flour one side for cutting and leave the other half clean for shaping.
- You don't need to ‘knock back' the dough to get all the extra air out so you can shape it. Folding and shaping the dough will gently do the deflation.
- When shaping, the idea is for the dough to catch enough surface tension on a non-floured area in order to create a tight ball. If there is flour present, it will slide around and drive you nuts.
Move the dough to the non-floured surface of your workspace. Gather the dough, one side at a time, to form a ball-shaped loaf. Fold it over into the center and flip the dough over. Place the loaf seam side down and, using your hands, gently cup the sides of the dough and rotate it, using quarter turns in a circular motion. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with its appearance.
Set the dough aside and leave it to sit and rise again. This time, it will rise for a shorter period, about 1-2 hours. You will know it's ready when the dough is slightly puffy. Factors such as the temperature of your dough and surrounding environment will affect its growth rate so keep an open mind.
Using a serrated knife, make a shallow slash about 2 inches long in the center of the dough. This will help the dough to expand and the steam to escape.
Step 4: Bake Your Sourdough Bread
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. If you have a baking stone, use it. A baking sheet works, too.
- Dust the bottom of your bread lightly with cornmeal and place in oven.
- Bake for 60 minutes until it is a deep golden brown. The bottom of the bread should feel slightly hollow when thumped. Leave an extra 5 minutes to crisp the edges.
- Allow cooling for 30 minutes before serving.
Watch the short video below by Tasty and see how they make their version of a homemade sourdough bread:
Congratulations! You have finally completed your sourdough bread! Enjoy this delicious homemade bread with your favorite hot beverage. Baking a sourdough bread is really easy and fun. It's a great way to practice your baking skills with the kids. Alternatively, you can use a dutch oven to bake your sourdough bread. This is great for camping, or just for fun! Learn more about baking bread in a dutch oven here.
Have you ever tried baking a sourdough bread before? We'd love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 18, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.