Laid-Back Guide To Homemade Sourdough Bread

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Say goodbye to sourdough stress! I’ve got the ultimate laid-back guide to homemade sourdough bread that’s all about easy steps, a simple approach, and seriously yummy results. Enjoyable, simple, and mouthwatering!

Potato Flake Sourdough starter and scale.

Okay, let’s chat about Sourdough! 

It’s been trending like crazy lately, but honestly, it’s been a staple for ages. I’ve been dabbling with sourdough starter since taking a class where I left with a decades old starter that I am feeding and using to make sourdough bread.  While I’m definitely not a pro, I think I’ve found the trick to a laid-back guide to homemade sourdough bread.  It doesn’t have to be all science and seriousness. I’m excited to show you how to make sourdough a simple process!

If you’ve ever thought about dabbling with a sourdough starter, trust me, it’s not as overwhelming as it seems (no stress involved, seriously!).

How to get a Sourdough Bread Starter

First things first, you gotta get yourself some starter.  Now, here’s the good news… you can totally get some starter by just asking around. You’d be surprised who has it tucked away in their fridge. I got mine from a friend who’s been nurturing it for ages. Trust me, it’s super hard to kill at this point.

I’ve actually heard of people purchasing a sourdough starter online. I haven’t tried the dehydrated ones myself, so I’m not sure of their quality. But definitely check out some reviews or do a bit of digging before you dive in.

Here are some great resources for making your own
Sourdough Bread Starter

Simple Sourdough Starter 
King Arthur Flour Sourdough Starter Tutorial (King Arthur Baking is a great resource)
7 Easy Steps to Making Your Own Sourdough Starter (This article might be a bit challenging, but if you’re into the science, it’s certainly enlightening.)

Maintaining a Sourdough Bread Starter 

You’ll stumble upon heaps of advice online about this. It can be a bit much to sift through, with varying opinions on how much TLC your sourdough bread starter requires and how often to feed it.

The laid-back approach for maintaining a sourdough bread starter involves storing it in the fridge, occasionally forgetting about it, and giving it a feed every now and then.

Here’s some great steps to maintaining a sourdough bread starter:
1.) Take the sourdough starter out of the refrigerator.  
2.) Measure out the amount needed for your recipe.
3.) Feed the remaining starter.
4.) Allow it to sit at room temperature until it becomes bubbly and doubles in size.
5.) Return it to the refrigerator.
*Sometimes I stick to a routine of feeding it three times a week, but other times, I might not use or feed it for a while.

If you notice a gray-tinted liquid on top of your starter after pulling it out of the fridge, don’t worry; it’s just a byproduct of fermentation. You can either pour it off or mix it back in. (However, if the liquid has an orange or pink hue, it’s best to discard the entire starter as that indicates it has gone bad.)  If your starter has been in the fridge for a while and seems alright, it should still do the job. However, you might have to give it a few feedings over a couple of days to bring it back to its full vitality.

If you’re planning to bake with your Sourdough Bread Starter everyday

Leave it out on the counter at room temperature and give it a feeding every 12 -14 hours. Before every feeding, make sure to use or discard some of the starter. I keep mine in a large container to use for pizza crust, breads, sweat treats, and more! There are many ways to use sourdough discard, so it can definitely come in handy!

Links to check out if you are interested in sourdough maintenance:
Making and Feeding a Sourdough Starter, Farmhouse on Boone
Sourdough Baking Maintain- King Authur Baking

How to bake with a Sourdough Bread Starter- 

Recipes usually tell you if your starter needs a to be fed or if it’s time to say goodbye. 
•A fed starter- is sourdough starter that’s bubbly and doubled in size after being fed with flour and water. 
•The discard- is sourdough starter from the fridge or counter that hasn’t been fed in a while. The internet’s full of sourdough baking tips and recipes, so you’ve got endless options to explore!

My Favorite Sourdough Bread Discard Recipes
24 Easy Sourdough Discard Recipes-Little Spoon Farm
35 Sourdough Discard Recipes

Using the right Bread-Making Tools

A good set of tools, like a dough scraper and proofing basket, make handling and shaping the dough easier and more efficient. These tools help you achieve the perfect crumb structure and crust, ensuring your sourdough is delicious every time. Investing in quality bread-making tools can also help you create consistently great results, which makes the baking process more enjoyable. Here’s a LIST of my ALL TIME FAVORITE bread making tools. 

If sourdough has been on your mind, whether you’re considering diving back in or rescuing your starter from the fridge, hopefully this post will help give you a fresh start. 

I’m sharing a sourdough recipe from one of my favorite sources, Kitchen Britt.  I hope you’ll give it a try soon and let me know what you think! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I’m here to help with your breadmaking adventure however I can. Take care and stay savvy!

If you like this post about sourdough bread making, I think you’ll also like this one… Super Easy Potato Flake Sourdough Bread Recipe. 

Beginner Sourdough Bread - Kitchen Britt

Beginner Sourdough Bread - Kitchen Britt

Ingredients

  • 600 g Water
  • 200 g Starter
  • 800 g Bread Flour
  • Salt

Instructions

    1. Mix 600 g of slightly warm tap water with 200 g of starter and 800 g of bread flour. Mix with a dough hook until no flour is visible. Let this sit for 15 minutes.

    2. Add 20 g of salt over this shaggy tough mixture. Pinch the dough with your forefinger and thumb to incorporate. Cover and let this sit for 15 more minutes.

    3. First stretch: Rotate the bowl and lift/fold 4 times. Cover and let this sit for 30 minutes.

    4. Second stretch: Lift/fold in the bowl 4 times, then remove the dough and "slap and fold."

    5. Third stretch: Last stretch and fold. Cover and let this sit 4 hours. If your kitchen is 78-85 degrees this can sit out, if not let it proof in your oven on the proof setting)

    6. Bulk Fermenting: Split the dough in half. Preshape into a boule shape with a blade. Let rest 30 for thirty minutes. Tuck in the baby. 3 sides pull the dough halfway last side pull all the way to cover. Pinch sides to get air out. Cup hands around dough and pull/shape into a boule. Flip top into boule dusted with brown rice flour. Pinch or stitch to remove all air & make dough tight. Cold ferment 12-18 hours.

    7. Score the bread, and preheat your dutch oven to 450. Turn dough onto parchment squares. Dust w/brown rice flour. Brush off excess flour. Place parchment & bread into a preheated Dutch oven. Bake 20 min covered 20 uncovered! Rest & enjoy!

 

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