Get ready to dive into a process that combines science, art, and a touch of magic. Sourdough bread is a beautiful creation that requires time, patience, and a bit of trial and error to achieve the perfect loaf tailored to your specific altitude, weather, and humidity.
In this blog post, I'll be sharing a general recipe that works well for high altitude baking, but remember, each sourdough journey is unique.
So, let's roll up our sleeves, activate that starter, and get ready to create mouthwatering homemade sourdough bread!
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup activated sourdough starter
- 4 cups flour (adjustments may be needed based on your specific conditions)
Begin by combining 2 cups of water and 1 cup of your activated sourdough starter in a large mixing bowl. Give it a gentle stir to incorporate the ingredients.
Gradually add 4 cups of flour to the mixture, stirring as you go. The amount of flour required may vary based on factors such as humidity and altitude. Pay attention to the dough's consistency. You're aiming for a soft and slightly sticky dough.
Once the dough comes together, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Allow it to undergo its first proofing for approximately 4 hours or until it has doubled in size. This step may take longer or shorter depending on your specific conditions.
After the first proofing, gently tamp down the dough to release any excess air. Shape it into your desired bread form, whether it's a loaf, boule, or batard. Place the shaped dough onto a baking sheet or in a proofing basket, and let it rise for an additional 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 465°F (240°C). If using a Dutch oven or a covered baking dish, place it inside the oven while preheating.
Once the oven reaches the desired temperature, carefully transfer the risen dough into the preheated Dutch oven or baking dish. Score the top of the dough to allow for proper expansion during baking.
Cover the Dutch oven with its lid or use foil to create a makeshift lid if using a baking dish. Bake the bread for 40 minutes with the lid on. This initial covered baking helps create steam, which contributes to a beautiful crust.
After 40 minutes, remove the lid and continue baking for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 200°F (93°C). If needed, adjust the baking time based on the bread's internal temperature.
Once baked, carefully remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack before slicing into your masterpiece.
Congratulations on embarking on your sourdough bread journey! This sourdough bread recipe is a fantastic starting point, but remember that baking sourdough is both an art and a science. Adjustments may be necessary depending on your specific conditions, so don't be afraid to experiment and make it your own!
Embrace the process, be patient, and enjoy the aromas and flavors of homemade sourdough bread. With each loaf, you'll gain confidence and expertise, and soon enough, you'll have your very own perfected sourdough bread recipe. So, roll up your sleeves, activate that starter, and let the sourdough adventure begin!