We have been growing our sourdough starter since October 22nd, so that’s 12 days so far. My son thinks it’s a cool science experiment and my daughter has added the word sourdough to her vocabulary. Our goal was to make a loaf of bread that tasted good BUT only had three ingredients: flour (mostly whole wheat), water and salt.
How do you make bread without adding yeast? By growing and feeding our sourdough starter on the counter it was able to pick up yeast from the air. There is natural yeast everywhere. If you missed our first post about the starter check it out: Homemade Sourdough: Part 1.
After a few days our sourdough started getting very bubbly. I only covered it with a towel for the first 9 days. Once the bubble really got going I used plastic wrap instead. Our starter now doubles in size about 3-4 hours after a feeding.
A few days ago we made an attempt at a loaf, but the starter was definitely not ready, and we ended up with a loaf with the consistency of a brick.
Yesterday I tried again. The measurements will probably never be the same since I’m doing this the old-fashioned way, but we used approximately 2 cups of starter, 2.5 cups of unbleached flour, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1/2 tsp salt.
I combined all the ingredients and kneaded in my stand mixer with the dough hook for about 10 minutes. Next, I sprayed a loaf pan with cooking spray and let the dough rise for about 6 hours. Before putting the loaf in the oven I scored the top with a bread knife to allow some of the air to escape while cooking. Then, I baked it at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes (the internal temperature reached 190 degrees).
The finished product… pretty good! It needs some more fiddling and I’m sure it will continue to get better and better flavor as our sourdough continues to age, but for now I’m happy! There’s not many foods better than fresh-baked, warm bread!
If you want a basic, straight forward, not processed loaf of bread this is what you want!