Monday, January 25, 2021

How to make sourdough bread from scratch?

Sourdough bread is truly is a delicacy to the table and an art to be appreciated for sure. The chewy texture, slightly acidic taste and crackling crust develop after hours of proofing. Making this tasty treat at home from scratch may sound daunting but fear not bakers, the sourdough bread is worth all the effort and time.

sourdough bread
source: delish.com

Why the sourdough bread is healthier than normal bread?

Sourdough bread is found to be more friendly to your stomach. It shows signs of controlling blood sugar and spikes blood sugar. The lower phytate level makes it easier to digest and nutritious.

  • A lower spike in blood sugar level: Low gluten and easier digestion make a lesser spike in blood sugar. It is friendlier for that keeping check in blood sugar.
  • Easy to digest:

There is a lot of variation of sourdough bread.

So, to start the process as you all may know we will need a starter that will ferment the dough and develop the signature taste. Hence, here you will first know about the sourdough starter and then there is a guided step by step recipe for you.

The Sourdough bread starter:

Every baker has a different opinion and personal recipes on this one. A sourdough starter can be liquid or solid. Its made of flour, and water that is fermented over days to activate the dough. Here is one of many recipes of sourdough starter.

Ingredients to start:

  • 100 gm water
  • 50-gram wheat flour
  • 50-gram bread flour

Process of making sourdough starter:

  1. First, mix the flour and water and keep it in a container for 24 hours.
  2. You can mark the ending of the starter with a marker or a rubber band to notice the consistent rise and fall. Next, you will check-in within 24 hours to see the signs of fermenting like air bubbles and little smell.
  3. If you don’t see the signs of fermenting you may want to wait a little longer. If you see, you want to discard a lot of the starter and keep a little and feed it with a new batch of flour and water mixture.
  4. You have to keep checking in every 24 hours or when you see fermentation and repeat the feeding process. Feeding is basically removing the most of old mixture and add new mixture.
  5. You have to repeat the process for 7 days or a little more but at least 7 times. Then your sourdough bread starter.

Step by step sourdough bread baking process:

Step 1:

 Making sure the bread starter or leaven is activated. The leaven is a mixture of a tablespoon of the starter and a little bit of our and water. Start the process of making the leaven the night before and leave it on the counter.

Step 2: 

The next step putting together the dough. Mix 250g water, 150 gm of the bubbly leaven and 25 g oil and add in 500g of bread flour and 10g of fine sea salt. 

Step 3: 

The third step is to let it autolyse for 30 minutes and this is the first resting time where gluten develops before working on to the dough. Knead a ball of dough in the bowl and cover it with a damp kitchen towel or reusable wax paper.

Step 4:

 The next step is to let the dough rise and become double of its size. Depending on the temperature the process can take anywhere in between 3 to 12 hours. In summer above 29 degree celsius, it will rise within 3 to 4 hours and in winter it may take longer.

Step 5:

After 30 minutes into the final resting its time work on your dough if you want to. Knead the dough in stretching and folding motion although it is not a mandatory step. Do this kneading after 30 minutes of letting it rise and set it to rise until it doubles as discussed in step 4.

Step 6: 

Now, shape your dough into a round ball. Stretch the top part and stretch to the centre and give it a slight turn. Repeat until you achieve the rounded shape using the enveloping motion. Set it to rise once again for the last time for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 7:

You can use a bread pan while baking for getting the rounded shape. This pot traps heat and moisture. Steam is key to a have moist yet crackling loaf. Preheat your oven at 450F. Scar the top of the loaf with a bread lame or knife.

Bake on the centre rack or if you have a single rack for 20 minutes at 400F.

sourdough bread
source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFbgQlOnIcc

After 20 minutes into the baking, the sourdough bread loaf will be pale yellow. Remove the lid of the pan and continue baking for another 40 minutes to achieve the crackling golden brown top. The internal temperature should be ideally 205-210F.

Step 8:

Cool it down! Yes, cool it down for one hour before slicing into your dream sourdough bread loaf.

Sourdough bread FAQs:

1. When to add salt in sourdough dough making?

Many bakers tell you to add the salt after the first autolysing period as salt may hinder the gluten development process. The sourdough bread. While others believe that you can add the salt at first while mixing everything if you forget to add salt later.

2. In which pot should I bake sourdough bread?

To bake a successful sourdough bread you have to retain temperature and moisture. Having a pot pan big tray with sides if you are baking big loaf will make sure there is enough moisture. Keeping the lid on for the first 20 minutes will also ensure that the moisture does not escape.

3.Is sourdough bread good for type2 diabetics?

As sourdough bread can be made from any flour be it ragi, whole wheat, or wholegrain. Type 2 diabetic patients have shown a moderate spike in blood sugar levels than normal bread loaf. Hence, it is a healthier option if diabetic patients want to eat bread.

4.Can sourdough bread be made without yeast?

Though some people use wild yeast in the starter, you can just make the starter over time with only flour and water. Sourdough bread is made always without commercial yeast or any yeast for that matter.

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