Classic Sourdough Bread made Easy – My recipe for classic sourdough bread which is a winner every time I bake it; and, it can be proved overnight in a cool place for early morning baking.
Sally the Sourdough Starter!
As most of my followers will have seen over the last three months, I have become a sourdough addict, or perhaps I should say a sourdough whore! Every two to three days I liberate Sally, that’s my sourdough starter, from the fridge and revive her with a good feed. This all started when I sent some sourdough starter from my good friend Elaine, over at Foodbod Sourdough….Elaine very kindly sent me some of her starter to use and review, and eh voila, I was instantly hooked. As regular readers will know I am an avid baker and have an affinity with yeast and dough; but, to date, apart from a brief skirmish with some French bread baking and namely “sponges”, I’d never made a “full-blown” sourdough loaf, so I was keen to add this new type of bread to my repertoire.
Today’s recipe for Classic Sourdough Bread made Easy is based on Elaine’s master recipe, using the starter she sent me three months ago, but with some tweaks I have added for what works best for me. I used Elaine’s brilliant recipe for several weeks, but as each kitchen is different, as in temperature, your oven and the flour you may use, today’s recipe evolved by me making amendments here and there, until I now feel confident enough to share the recipe, which has been tested multiple times and with great success. I also changed the cooking pot I bake my bread in, from enamel to cast iron, again, it just works better for me that way, but enamel may work better for you as it does for Elaine….it’s all trial and error.
So, throughout this post you will see various sourdough loaves I have made, in enamel pots and cast iron pots. But, the recipe I have shared below suggests you use a cast iron pot, as I do all the time now, AND always with the lid on during baking too. As you can see from my photos, Sally the sourdough starter is a STAR, (which is what Elaine calls it) and continues to provide me with incredibly strong wild yeast to make my daily bread. And, we (Malcolm my husband and I) both find that we can digest sourdough bread better, and we don’t feel so “bloated” after eating it as we often do with normal yeast raised bread. It makes the most sublime toast and is a fabulous vehicle for sandwiches of all types. Cut a big wedge off the crusty end to go with soup, and you’re in sourdough heaven, similarly it makes fabulous croutons too.
I don’t profess to be an expert at sourdough bread, but it seems that I have the “touch” when it comes to this type of bread, and as an instinctive bread maker, the recipe I’ve shared below is tried and tested, and, it works. I read somewhere, I’m not sure where, that when bread dough is proved long and slow, and in a cooler temperature, it has a better structure and texture. And it’s true that since switching to proving the dough (in a banneton) overnight in a cool place, my bread structure has more of those sought after “sourdough holes”, with a chewy and pleasantly sour texture and taste, as well as a fabulous crusty crust. I have yet to make a sourdough pizza or bread rolls, but both of those recipes are in the pipeline, so do keep popping back to see what my next wild yeast recipe is.
My Classic Sourdough Bread made Easy recipe is shared below in a printable recipe format and please do let me know if you make it. I will be back soon with some more sourdough ideas, as well as travel stories and new recipes. Once again, thanks to Elaine for sending me some of her starter that led me on this fascinating sourdough journey. Bye for now, Karen
*Disclaimer: I was sent some sourdough starter to use, and was not asked to write a favourable review about it*
You can buy Elaine’s STAR starter here: Buy Sourdough Starter
Coming soon, a recipe for Sourdough Fruited Pancakes
If you aren’t ready for sourdough bread yet,
here’s a few of my other bread recipes for you to try: