Hello, Lovelies! Have you ever reached into the cupboard for your sourdough starter, lifted the lid and breathed that wonderful sour-ish, flour-ish, whole-grain goodness smell up your nostrils and just smiled? Mmmmm, me too. Okay, so maybe the nostril part was more detail than you needed.
Anyway, that’s why I’m sharing my current go-to Sourdough Bread recipe.
No, no! Don’t go! I know the thought of making sourdough bread is a bit daunting. I was in the same boat. But really, it’s not hard to learn. And just think about how pleased you’ll be when you bite into that first buttery slice of homemade goodness and know you’re eating healthy.
Okay, just think about that first buttery slice.
Okay, just think about the butter.
Any which way you do it, just take a deep breath and stick with me for a bit here.
When I finally decided to face my fears and learn about sourdough, I read about it until my eyes went buggy. I was right. . .it was daunting. Some recipes measured out the ingredients in grams and had very detailed how-to’s that frankly, made my knees shake just thinking about it. I’m sorry, but I just don’t cook like that. The more specific and detailed a recipe, the greater the chance I’ll botch it up somehow.
I came to the conclusion that if I were going to make sourdough bread, it would have to meet my specifications:
- I wanted a recipe that used a lot of sourdough starter or at least soaked the added flour for a significant amount of time. The whole purpose of souring wheat is for your health. It wasn’t going to do a whole lot of good to use only 1/2 cup of sourdough starter, add several cups of flour, and bake it without an extended souring. I wanted it to be soured down to the very last crumb.
- I did not want to use dry yeast. The ingenuity of sourdough is that the yeast is right there. Why make a sourdough recipe and have to add yeast as well?
- I also wanted a basic, old-fashioned recipe without a lot of fluff to it. Something like my great-great grandmother might have made in a little log cabin tucked in the woods. Simple, soured, and satisfying.
- And last, but not least, I didn’t want any form of sugar in it.
I wasn’t asking for much, was I?
My search brought me to GNOWFGLINS. I love this site because:
- GNOWFGLINS is an acronym for “God’s Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season” – can you sum up the delight of healthy, good-for-you food in any better way?
- I love that they call themselves GNOWFGLINS – a strange looking word that makes you so curious you can’t help but find out what it means. So you go to their site and suddenly your sucked in and reading about sourdough and all sorts of whole food goodness. Very astute of them.
Oh, oh, there’s one more reason. . .
- They had my recipe. Well, not my recipe, but you know, mine. The treasure I was looking for. And you can use it for pizza crust, rolls, etc. too. (Yipee!) I think I may send them a dozen roses.
I take absolutely no credit for how much you’re going to love this bread. I’m just overjoyed to have found it and be able to pass it on.
GNOWFGLINS Sourdough Bread (casein-free, egg-free, nut-free, sugar-free, yeast-free)
makes 2 loaves (recipe can easily double for more)
3 c. sourdough starter
1 c. water
1 T. celtic sea salt
approx. 6 cups flour
*BEFORE YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE
- If your sourdough starter is at room temperature, you can feed it about 12 hours before you plan to make the recipe. Make sure you still have starter left for future use after removing the 3 cups the recipe calls for.
- If your sourdough starter is in the fridge, take it out and feed it, then let it come to room temp which takes about an hour or so, before proceeding.
- If you have questions on feeding your starter, read a more detailed explanation here.
1. Combine your sourdough starter, water, and salt.
2. Add about 4 cups of flour, then turn your mixer on (I used speed 1 on my Bosch) and continue to add flour in 1/4 c. increments until the dough starts to ‘clean’ the sides of the bowl. Knead it with the mixer for 5-6 min.
If I could impart any bread-making wisdom it would be: do NOT add too much flour! It takes time for the flour to soak up all the liquids, and when you let it set out for several hours (coming up later in the directions), it will become a bit stiffer. However, if you add so much flour right away that it looks like the ‘knead-by-hand’ bread dough we’re all familiar with, it will become too dry and your finished loaf of bread will taste like sawdust.
One way to tell if you’ve added enough flour is to take your finger and touch the dough. (Please turn the mixer off first. :)) You should notice that the dough sort of makes a sound as if you’d stuck your finger to the sticky side of a piece of tape and pulled if off again. You don’t want it to stick to you, but it should act like it wants to. Does that make sense?
3. Knead the dough in the mixer for 4-5 minutes. Stop and check to see if the dough has good elasticity. What you’re looking for is the ability to pinch a small chunk of it and stretch it upward. If it is somewhat smooth and stretches a good bit, you’re good. But if it breaks off right away, you’ll want to knead for another minute or so.
Alternately, you can knead by hand for about 8-12 minutes. If you do this I suggest putting oil instead of flour on your counter top as well as oiling your hands. A common mistake is adding too much flour to prevent your hands from sticking and you end up getting the dough too dry.
4. Place your dough in a large, well-oiled bowl. Flip it over and rotate it so that it’s completely coated. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it set in the refrigerator (or a cool room about 55 degrees or cooler) for twelve hours or overnight. OR you may leave your dough at room temperature for 5-6 hours.
5. After the dough has doubled in volume, oil your hands and counter top again. Cut dough into two equal portions. (I’m cutting mine into four because I doubled the recipe.)
6. Shape each portion into loaves (rolls, pizza, or whatever you want) and place them in oiled bread pans. Cover with damp towels again and let rise in a warm place until doubled. This takes about 1 1/2 – 3 hours, which of course means more souring time!
7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake in pre-heated oven for 45-60 minutes; until the tops are nicely browned and the loaves sound a bit hollow if you tap on them. Take the loaves out of the pans and cool on a wire rack.
Optional: brush tops with butter or water immediately after removing from the oven for a softer crust. (Butter is better, butter is better. . .)
There, that’s all there is to it!
Just keep dreaming of that yummy slice of
butter sourdough and give it a go. You can find some excellent varieties of sourdough starter here.
P.S. Who ate all the butter?
Don’t know where to purchase some of these ingredients? Visit our Whole Food Sources page.