Sourdough Bread Recipe – Homemade

Sourdough Bread Recipe – Homemade

This sourdough bread has a nice tang to the flavor. The crust is crunchy without being hard, and the interior soft and airy with lots of nooks for melting butter. 

Sourdough Bread Traditional Long Method.

The recipe is a 2-day process. If you want a quicker process (about a half-day), hop on over to my recipe for rustic sourdough bread – quick method.

I just took two fresh, warm, crusty loaves of sourdough from the oven. It has the aroma is fresh-baked bread with a hint of slightly overripe fruit. I know, smells are hard to describe and what is a lovely somewhat overripe fruit smell to me, maybe a nasty rotten smell to someone else. The unusual smell of the sourdough bread during baking is due to the starter.  Leavening in sourdough bread is from the gas produced by bacteria – Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, named after the birthplace of sourdough, San Francisco. A byproduct of fermentation by the bacteria is gas production. Lactic and acetic acid production gives the bread the tangy flavor.  

Why Sourdough Needs A Vigorous, Fed Starter.
Sourdough starter is stored in the refrigerator, causing semi-dormant bacteria. When the starter is needed, wake up the bacteria with warmth and feeding of flour and water. Once awake, the bacteria start to do what bacteria do best. Divide and produce more bacteria! A loaf of sourdough needs lots of healthy, gas-producing bacteria to make a light, airy, and tangy loaf of sourdough.  

For more information on making your own starter, or maintaining a sourdough starter, hop on over to my blog on How To Maintain and Feed sourdough.  

This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Fed Sourdough Starter
Flour + Sourdough Starter
adding water to sourdough starter

How To Make Sourdough Bread – Step by Step

Day One

Weigh out 4 ounces of fed sourdough starter (1 cup). Add 4 cups (12 3/4 ounces) of bread flour and 13.5 ounces of warm water. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes.
Cover and let rest at room temperature for 6 hours. Then place in the refrigerator overnight. Overnight refrigeration encourages acetic acid production. The acetic acid, more than the lactic acid, creates the tangy flavor of the sourdough. For a less tangy taste, skip the refrigeration, and proceed to the next step. 

Day 2

Stretch And Fold Technique

Stretch and Fold technique Step 1
Step 1
Stretch and Fold technique Step 2
Step 2
Stretch and Fold technique Step 3
Step 3
Stretch and Fold technique Step 4
Step 4
Stretch and Fold technique Step 5
Step 5
Stretch and Fold technique Step 6
Step 6

As early as possible, the next day, add 2 more cups (8.5 ounces) of flour and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Rest the dough for 5 minutes and then stir for another minute. The dough will be thick and shaggy.
Add a small amount of vegetable oil to the countertop or work surface and turn the dough out onto the work surface. Perform the first stretch and fold as demonstrated in the video.  The video is for pizza dough. However, the technique is the same for sourdough or any rustic loaf of bread.  The time intervals on the video are for 20 minutes between stretch and folds.  Make sure you wait an hour between stretch and folds.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1 hour.
At the end of the first hour, perform another stretch and fold, cover and rest another hour. Perform a total of 5 stretch and folds. After the 5th stretch and fold, rest the dough a final hour.

shaped loaf of sourdough bread
loaf demonstrating slash pattern

Shaping the Loaves
At the end of the last rest period, gently divide the dough into equal parts and form 2 oblong or round loaves. Place the sourdough bread loaves on parchment-covered baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and let the loaves rise another 3 – 4 hours or until noticeably risen and puffy. The loaves may require more than 4 hours, so be patient and give them time to double in size.
During the final hour of rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. If you have an oven steel or baking stone, place it in the oven. Your loaves will bake just fine on the parchment-lined baking sheet if you don’t have a steel or stone. An oven stone will take an hour to heat up.
If the loaves are spreading more than rising, don’t be alarmed. The oven heat will cause them to spring up

Baking The Sourdough Bread
Create fairly deep slashes in the top of the loaves with a serrated knife.
Mist the tops of the loaves with water and place the loaves in the oven.
For a more rustic look, mist the loaves with water, then dust with flour before you create the slash marks. Slide the loaves off the baking sheet onto the steel or stone. Bake on the baking sheet if you don’t have a steel or stone.
During the first 3 minutes of baking, briefly open the oven door and mist the tops with water once every minute. This keeps the tops of the loaves soft, resulting in more oven spring.
Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown or the internal temperature of the loaf is 110 – 112 degrees F.


Storing The Sourdough Bread
Store the bread loosely wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days at room temperature. Freeze the loaf for up to a month. . 

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Sourdough Bread

Homemade Sourdough Bread

This sourdough bread has a nice mellow tang to the flavor.  The crust is crunchy without being hard, and the interior soft and airy with lots of nooks for melting butter. 12
2 days
Total Time: 2 days
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sourdough bread
Servings: 24 slices
Calories: 94kcal

Equipment

  • This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you
  • baking steel or stone

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces sourdough starter 1 cup
  • 21 ounces bread flour 5 cups
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 13.5 ounces water use lukewarm water

Instructions

Day One

  • Weigh out 4 ounces of fed sourdough starter (1 cup).  Add 4 cups (12 3/4 ounces) of bread flour and 13.5 ounces of warm water.  Beat for 1 1/2 minutes. 
    Fed Sourdough Starter
  • Cover and let rest at room temperature for 6 hours.  Then place in the refrigerator overnight

Day Two

  • The next day, add 1 more cup (4.25 ounces) of flour and the salt.  Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Rest the dough for 5 minutes and then stir for another minute.  The dough will be thick and shaggy.  
    Sourdough
  • Add a small amount of oil to the countertop or work surface and turn the dough out onto the work surface.  Perform the first stretch and fold as demonstrated in the video.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1 hour.  
    Stretch and Fold technique Step 2
  • At the end of the first hour perform another stretch and fold, cover and rest another hour.  Perform a total of 5 stretch and folds.  After the 5th stretch and fold rest the dough a final hour. 
    Stretch and Fold technique Step 4
  • At the end of the 5th hour gently divide the dough into equal parts and gently form 2 oblong or round loaves.  Place the sourdough bread loaves on parchment-covered baking sheets.  Cover with plastic wrap and let the loaves rise another 3 - 4 hours or until noticeably risen and puffy.  The loaves may require more than 4 hours, so be patient and give them time to nearly double in size. 
    shaped loaf of sourdough bread
  • Near the end of the rising period preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Create fairly deep slashes in the top of the loaves with a serrated knife.  Mist the tops of the loaves with water and place the loaves in the oven. 
    loaf demonstrating slash pattern
  • During the first 3 minutes of baking, briefly open the oven door and mist the tops with water once every minute. Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown or the internal temperature of the loaf is 110 - 112 degrees F. 
    Misting Bread during Baking
  • Store the bread loosely wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days at room temperature.  Freeze the loaf for up to a month. 

Notes

Notes:  The process described here is a lengthy 2 day process.  This is the traditional way that sourdough bread is made.  However, there is one new process the stretch and fold.  Traditionally the dough was gently deflated by compressing it.  The stretch and fold helps incorporate air pockets into the dough giving the final product that chewy but still light and airy texture with plenty of pockets that we love.  
If you want a quicker method that still yields a delicious sourdough hop on over to my Homemade Sourdough - quick method recipe.  This sourdough is not as tangy but still tastes wonderful. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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