Simple Sourdough

Title

Simple Sourdough

Description

This sourdough bread instruction manual was created by my sister Emma for family and friends who she has shared sourdough starter with. Learning to make homemade bread has been one of the benefits of staying home more and shopping less. It also helps me feel close to my family, who are all baking bread! My parents make a fresh batch every few days, which they enjoy delivering to friends and neighbors.

Creator

Date

2020-04-23

Type

Format

PDF

Contributor

Schroeder, Greta

Rights

Creator retains copyright. Item may be used for noncommercial purposes under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Text

This is a “dry” sourdough, meaning that it contains more flour than most. These were intended to be able to travel – they could be put in a sack of flour and carried around. However, if yours ends up with a higher water content, I am sure that is fine too.

In general, baking this bread takes 24 hours. I usually feed the starter in the morning, mix up a bread dough in the evening, and then bake the bread the next morning. You could begin the process in the evening, then you would finish it the next evening.

Feeding your starter:

This starter lives in the fridge, but it needs to be fed at least once/week.

Take the starter out of its container and place in a bowl. This is what it looks like right out of the fridge.

Add one cup of lukewarm water.

Mix starter into water (see below).

Add whole wheat flour to the mixture, enough to make a stiff dough.

Cover with a damp cloth. Let sit out at room temperature for at least 8 hours.

If you are not going to make bread, place about 1-2 cups of starter back in your container and place in the fridge (above is what it looks like after about 8-12 hours of growth). On another note: I never wash the container in the fridge and that seems fine.

If you are making bread, continue as follows:

Making bread:

Even when you are making bread, do not forget to put 1-2 cups of starter away (see below).

Once you have done so, take the rest of your refreshed starter and place in mixing bowl.

Add 3 cups of lukewarm water. Mix.

Gradually add flour and 1 T salt. I use only white flour at this point, but you can use whatever flour you would prefer. I used to make it with more whole wheat, but it comes out as a denser bread.

Add flour until you have a pliable dough. I usually do this entire process in the bowl; you can take it out and knead it a little on a floured surface. This bread, however, requires very little kneading due to the long rising period. This is what my dough looks like.

Cover the bowl with a warm damp cloth.

Let rise over night or over the course of a day. This is after rising for 8-12 hours.

Baking your bread:
Preheat oven to 450. Place two heavy pots with heavy lids in the oven to warm.

Flour a surface (I use a cutting board).

Divide your dough into two pieces. I make one slightly larger than the other as the pans I use are of different size.

Form dough into loaves. This involves slightly turning the edges in on themselves, essentially forming a crease which you place face-down on the floured surface. You can look this up online.

Dust top of each loaf with flour.

When oven has pre-heated, place the loaves into the pots and cover them. You should flip your loaves over so that the crease that was on the bottom on the floured surface is now on the top in your pan. You can see the crease along the top of the loaves in this photo. This is not necessary,
but this is what allows a nice break along the top of the finished bread.

Bake covered for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, uncover your pans and bake another 10 minutes.

When done, remove from the oven and put on a cooling rake or prop bread in their pans as shown here. You need airflow around the loaves to cool well.

Collection

Citation

Schroeder, Emma, “Simple Sourdough,” Heart of Maine Community Stories, accessed September 26, 2021, https://heartofmaine.omeka.net/items/show/21.

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