As we know most conventional breads are made with dry yeast, processed ingredients and preservatives. Sourdough is a type of bread made with flour, water, a bit of salt and natural yeas.
And this makes a huge difference!
Given the proper time, your flour and water reacts with wild yeast that is naturally-occurring all around to begin to sour – to ferment. This fermentation unlocks minerals in the wheat otherwise unavailable to us. The yeast releases CO2 as a byproduct, and in turn gluten traps that CO2 and creates the rise and texture of the loaf. The longer the dough ferments, the more the gluten is broken down for us. This happens because of a process called hydrolysis, in which enzymes break down large, indigestible proteins into smaller amino acids.
How to make sourdough bread
- 1 tablespoon of active sourdough starter (find it here)
- 800 grams white bread flour and more for dusting (find it here)
- 650ml grams filtered cooled water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3–4 tablespoons seeds of your choice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Pour the water into a large bowl.
- Add the ripe starter to the water and mix thoroughly until it is completely dissolved.
- Add the flour to the leavened water and mix with a spatula. At the end use wet hands to form a shaggy dough ball.
- Let it rest about an hour to four hours.
- Add the salt to the bread dough. Use your hands to pinch and stretch the dough gently until the salt is mixed into the dough.
- Using your wet hands pull the dough from under the dough ball up and stretch it gently as you pull it over the dough ball top. Release. Over the next 2 1/2 hours repeat the stretch and fold every 30 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
- During the last folding you can add the optional seeds and oil and then place the dough in a well floured proofing basket.
- Proof the dough for roughly 1 ¾ -2 ½ hours or until the bread has risen to almost double the size. Once the dough is well risen and feels almost lighter and not as heavy then it’s time to bake it off.
- Place an oven rack you will put the sourdough baking tray on into the middle level of your oven.
- Preheat your oven to 450°F (225°C) and a baking pan. Gently turn the dough out onto a separate floured flat baking tray (not preheated). Carefully make it round again pushing the seams underneath. Score the bread on top with any design you like.
- Turn down the oven to 400°F (200°C) and slide your bread from your floured tray onto your preheated tray.
- Bake the sourdough for 1h. After the bread is done, allow 30 min for the bread to cool down before cutting it.