Long before the pandemic hit and everybody started baking sourdough bread, I was already making my own sourdough bread. I had my own starter who we affectionately call Floyd.
Over the last couple of years I have tried many different bread recipes, techniques, and tricks. Some with success, others not so much.
However I have now settled on a recipe that works for me basically every time.
The ingredients are simple:
- 4 cups of flour
- 1 Tablespoon of salt
- 1 cup of sourdough starter – approximately.
- 350 mL of water with a 1/2 teaspoon of yeast in it.
- Optional ingredients – a tablespoon of Italian seasoning or a tablespoon of Cricket Powder.
The process is also relatively simple: I start by putting 350 ml of lukewarm water into a measuring cup and adding a half teaspoon of yeast to that water.
I leave the water and yeast mixture to sit while I do the next steps.
Into my mixing bowl I measure out 4 cups of unbleached flour.
I add about a tablespoon of salt to that flour and then I use a fork to mix the salt into the flour. If you are using the Cricket Powder like I did in the video above, this is when you add it to the mixing bowl.
The cricket powder is a boost of protein, fibre, and vitamin B12 – that is the reason to add it to the bread. It adds food value!
Next I ladle in approximately one cup of sourdough. I don’t measure it, I just eyeball it to about a cup.
I use the same fork to cut the sourdough starter into the flour and salt mixture. It is like when you’re making biscuits and you want the mixture to have pea-sized chunks of sourdough starter and flour mixed together.
The final step is to add the water and yeast mixture into the flour.
I pour it into the centre and then use the fork to mix it in as much as I can.
Then I use a rubber scraper or as some call it, a spatula, and I mix the dough until it is a smooth ball of dough and all the flour that’s in the bowl is absorbed into the ball of dough.
I will then take a little pinch of flour and sprinkle it around the ball of dough in the bowl and turn the ball of door over and need it for about five minutes.
I continue to add a pinch of flour on top of the dough so that I can knead it without the dough sticking to my hands.
As I said, I do this for about 5-10 minutes.
Then I leave the ball of dough in the mixing bowl with a tea towel over it to sit overnight.
Depending on what my schedule is like for the morning, I will sometimes punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour.
When I feel the dough is ready, I will put my 5 L Dutch oven, with the lid on, into the oven and set the oven to 425°.
Once the oven is up to temperature, I take the Dutch oven out, remove the lid and lower the ball of dough into the Dutch oven. Then I put the lid back on and put the Dutch oven back in the oven.
I leave the dough in the Dutch oven in the oven for 35 minutes at 425° before lowering the oven temperature to 350° and removing the lid from the Dutch oven. I reset the timer for 25 minutes.
Final step – I take the Dutch oven out of the oven, take the freshly baked sourdough bread out of the pot and let it rest on a wire rack before trying to slice into it. The waiting for it to cool is often the most difficult part of the process!
Then we eat bread.