After making several batches of sourdough bread, researching and reviewing numerous recipes, here’s a recipe that works for me. It’s an adaptation of my original bread machine bread and contains some commercial yeast. It doesn’t have a strong sourdough taste, but it is a high-rising, softly textured loaf.
If you’re just starting to learn how to develop a sourdough starter, it will take 7 days before it’s ready to use in a bread recipe. Here’s a summary of the sourdough starter process:
Key points: 1) Don’t use metal mixing spoons; wooden or silicone are needed. 2) When you “feed” your starter, mix the flour and water, then add to starter and mix it in well. 3) Refrigerate the starter removed at each feeding. It can be used right away in baked goods such as muffins, pancakes, etc.
Day 1: To begin the starter: Mix ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water (filtered or let chlorine evaporate overnight)
Place the mixture in a clean quart jar or glass container. Cover the top with either a paper towel or cheese cloth. Your starter will sit at room temperature for up to 12 days.
Day 2: Your starter may or may not be “working.” If there are no bubbles, allow the starter to sit another 24 hours. If you do see bubbles on day 2, add ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water, mix well.
Day 3: By now (48 hours after first mixing) you should see bubbles starting to form in the starter. Remove ½ cup of the starter and refrigerate it. Then add ½ cup flour mixed with 1/3 cup water.
Days 4-5-6 – Feed your starter 1x/day by removing ½ cup starter and replacing with ½ cup flour mixed with 1/3 cup water.
Day 7: You can remove ½ cup starter and use in a bread recipe or other types of recipes. Feed the starter as usual.
Day 8-12: You can begin feeding your starter 2x/day. By day 12, you will have an active, healthy starter. Refrigerate it and feed it no less than 1x/week. You may use a portion of this starter to begin a second starter, using the same feeding method and time frame.
Sourdough white bread:
1 cup water, warmed to between 105 to 110 degrees (Fahrenheit)
1/3 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon yeast
½ cup sourdough starter (at room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar, honey or maple syrup
3 ½ – 3 ¾ cups all-purpose or bread Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I recommend Himalayan pink salt)3 tablespoons of melted butter or oil
Using hot tap water, warm measuring cup for the liquid and bread machine canister. Use hot tap water for the 1 cup water; dissolve your sweetener in the water. Add the milk.
Check the temperature of the liquid. You want it to be between 105 and 110. If it’s less than that, warm it up. If it’s over 112 degrees it will kill the yeast, so cool it down.
Once your liquid is in the desired temperature range, dissolve the yeast in it. Allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes.
While the yeast is activating, measure and mix the flour and salt. Prepare the butter/oil. Butter can be melted or chopped.
Remove the hot water from your bread machine canister; add the yeast mixture, flour mixture, sourdough and butter. Mix/knead cycles (2 of them) should be no less than 10 minutes and not longer than 15 minutes. Between these cycles, allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
Coat an 8.5×4.5 bread pan; gently shape the dough and lay it in the pan. Cover with a light cloth and allow it to rise in a warm place (oven is ideal) for 30 minutes. You can allow it to raise for up to 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes and enjoy!
If you’re looking for a recipe for 100% sourdough, no commercial yeast, stay tuned – my test loaves are in the oven!