Baking Bread with Sour Dough Starter

Baking home made sour dough bread

There is nothing complicated about makingĀ bread with sour dough starter. The sour dough starter just needs to be vigorous with a healthy population of acive yeast. So it should be fed every day for the few days before baking. Some even feed it twice a day the last day or so before baking. And some add packaged yeast, which is fine, but a needless expense.

The day I plan to bake bread I feed the starter in the morning, then make the dough in the afternoon. This gives the yeast esentially a double feeding and produces more loft, and a lighter, airier crumb.

Note: If your looking to make your own sour dough starter at home see this post:Ā http://justbelowthesurface.com/february-cooking/how-to-make-sour-dough-starter/

I make a no-knead sour dough bread most often. Its easy, quick, and makes a good bread. To start, add about a cup and a half (380 grams or 14 onces) of sour dough starter to your mixing bowl. Add 1 cup very warm water, 1 Tbs sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 2 cups flour. Mix, adding flour slowly until you get a very wet dough. If using a stand mixer with a dough hook the dough should not pull away from the sides much at all. Practice.

Flour your table and scrape the dough out on to it. With flour’ed hands and a bench knife (bench scraper) form the dough into a ball. Place the dough ball into a parchment lined bowl. Cover with another bowl or oiled plastic (to keep the dough from rising into it and sticking to it). Let the dough rise to become soft and starts to get “poofy”. Obviously it’ll collapse if you let it rise to far, and it’ll be too dense if you dont let it rise enough. Practice!

After an hour or three, put iron dutch ovens (with lids) in the oven and preheat to 450F. When the oven is up to temp, lift the dough out of the bowl using the parchment as the handle and place in the hot dutch ovens. Replace the lid and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the lids and bake 15 minutes more.