Baking to Break Bread: My Love Affair with Sourdough

You know, there’s something magical about making sourdough bread. It ain’t like plain ol’ white or wholegrain. No siree! Sourdough is alive, bubbly, and utterly charming.

Ya see, sourdough is all about slow food. You can’t just slap it together. You’ve got to love it, nurture it, coax it into loveliness over a good few days. Sure, that might sound like hard work, but believe me, when you pull that golden loaf out of the oven, it’s all worth it. Oh, the joy of being a sourdough whisperer!

The starter’s where the magic happens. It’s a mélange of flour and water, left to ferment, resulting in a bubbly concoction, a concoction so alive it’s practically dancing! Watching it bubble and froth, well, it’s like watching a really good film, you’re on the edge of your seat, heart racing, waiting for the next exciting twist.

Alas, setbacks happen. Remember, folks, patience is a virtue. When you think your dough ain’t livin’ up to the task, don’t chuck it. Nurture it some more. Soon enough, it’ll reward you with a beaming, crispy crust and soft, airy crumb worthy of a five-star chef.

I tell ya, nothing is more heartwarming than sharing a freshly baked, crusty sourdough loaf with your favorite folks. The pure joy of watching their eyes sparkle as they savor the first bite, it’s worth every painstaking knead and wait. Counting calories? Throw that notion out the window, there ain’t no room for that when faced with a seductive loaf of homemade sourdough. So, don’t just sit there, give it a go! Get your hands in that dough, and let’s get this bread.

Let’s Get To Work!

  • Begin by creating your sourdough starter. Combine 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water in a large jar or plastic container. Mix until smooth and cover loosely with a clean cloth. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  • Each day for the next 5 days, feed your starter with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Stir until smooth, then cover and let it sit at room temperature.
  • After 5 days, your sourdough starter should be bubbly and ready to use.
  • On baking day, combine 1 cup of your sourdough starter with 5 cups of flour and 2 cups of water in a large mixing bowl. Stir until you have a sticky dough. Cover and let rest for 4 hours.
  • After the initial rest, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt over your dough and work it in by folding the dough over on itself several times.
  • Once the salt is fully incorporated, cover your dough again and let it rest for an additional 4 hours. During this time, every half an hour for the first 2 hours, fold the dough over on itself in the bowl.
  • After the final rise, shape your dough on a floured surface into a round. Place it on a piece of parchment paper and let it rest for another hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 475 degrees (F) and place a Dutch oven or lidded baking dish inside to heat.
  • Transfer your dough, along with the parchment paper, into your preheated Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the cover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let your sourdough loaf cool completely before slicing.

That was fresh!