Bread Baking: More Sourdough Bread

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

If you have been following the Sourdough Starter-Along series, you may have already made one loaf of bread. This is another version of sourdough bread that uses a little more starter to begin with.

Using more starter as the foundation of your bread will speed up the rising time, since you're essentially adding more yeast to the mix. You'll also get a little more of that sourdough character in the finished loaf.


Tips on Making this Recipe...
by hand-kneading »
in a stand mixer »
with a food processor »

When you're baking sourdough, you should always be using an active starter. If your starter went into the fridge for a rest last night, it's ready to go. If it's been napping for a week, it needs a feeding or two to get it to wake up. Feed it until it's bubbling up in the container. Depending how cold it got and how active it was before refrigerated, this could happen in one day or two.

Keep in mind that the first few loaves you back from a new starter can vary a lot. The crust, texture, flavor, and speed of rise can change from one loaf to another. After a while, though, it becomes more stable and you'll know what to expect from your home-grown starter.

Want to Make a Starter? Start Here »

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She launched the blog Cookistry and has now joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.

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Bread Baking: More Sourdough Bread

About This Recipe

Yield:8 to 10
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:about 6 hours

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces starter (by volume) at 100% hydration
  • 4 ounces water
  • 12 ounces bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Procedures

  1. 1

    Combine starter, water, and 4 ounces bread flour in bowl of stand mixer or in large bowl. Mix well and and cover until mixture is bubbling and rising up in container, at least one hour (or more, depending on activity of starter).

  2. 2

    Add remaining ingredients and knead the dough hook or by hand, adding flour or water as necessary until dough ball barely sticks to bottom of bowl when kneading. Form into ball, drizzle with olive oil, and put back into bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in volume, about 3 hours.

  3. 3

    Remove dough from bowl and form into a ball, being careful not to deflate. Set dough on a prepared baking sheet or peel and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside until doubled, about 90 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. When loaf has risen, slash as desired and bake until bread is nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

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