Another amazing recipe brought to you by my talented friend Jessica. She claims she doesn’t like sourdough. I, on the other hand, love it. I especially love it with a nice thick coat of butter…
Sourdough isn’t my favourite bread, but I’m a sucker for things that:
A) require more work than absolutely necessary
B) make me feel like a pioneer
C) are cheap
So really, I should LOVE sourdough, and this recipe is definitely a good one. I’m not really into the slap-you-in-the-face-sour kind of sourdough, so this one is pretty mild. Enough sour to make it right, but no so much you figure you should just be eating pickles.
Makes two loaves (or one giant one if you prefer)
If you have a sourdough culture going already, SUPER! (if not click here to learn how to make one). Once you have that, you’re more than halfway there.
- 3 cups sourdough culture (approximately)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp gluten flour (optional)
- all-purpose flour (up to about 2 cups)
Dump all the ingredients in a bowl and stir with a spoon until you give up and jump in hands first. I usually start with 1-1.5 cups of flour and keep adding until it comes together as a soft dough. If it’s sticky add some more… if you can knead it and it’s not coming off on your hands, you’ve got enough! The reason for the loosy-goosy flour measurement is because all cultures are a bit different, and some have more water than others. (Mine is about the consistency of a nice thick pancake batter)
Kneading. A note on kneading: do more.
This is the step where most home-bread-makers fall flat (pun intended). If you don’t knead the dough enough it won’t puff up into that nice soft bakery-like deliciousness that we know and love. You know when you’re eating bread and you instantly think “yup… homemade”? That is because it likely wasn’t kneaded long enough. I kneaded this dough for at least 10 minutes (FYI, 10 minutes is a LOOOOOONG time when you’re kneading, I often have to set a timer or else I’ll totally bail early, and then I get cranky when my bread sucks.) Once you figure you’re done kneading… knead it some more. You can take breaks now and then, just don’t leave it too long.
Form into loaves (unlike yeast dough, this one will only proof once), and place on cookie sheet, with either parchment, a silicone liner, or a liberal amount of cornmeal underneath. Cover with a clean dishcloth and let rise until quadrupled in size–took me between 4-5 hours. (Note: this is a short amount of time for sourdough. Really sour loaves will often rise for 24 hours)
Brush with an egg wash (or milk… or both) and sprinkle with seeds if you like. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes. (If your oven sucks like mine, spin the pan halfway through). Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.