It’s been almost a year since my guest blog post about sourdough bread over at Bambu Batu. I’ve made that bread many times since then, and over the past year, I’ve simplified it more and more. And I also finally Americanized it for those of you who prefer a measuring cup over a scale.
I hereby present you with the easiest, no-knead sourdough bread possible. I know sourdough can be daunting. I know it seems finicky and so complicated (I mean having to feed your starter is like having pet, right?!), but once you’ve made a successful loaf you can’t go back.
There are plenty of articles out there on how to make your own starter. If you’re lucky, you can pick some up from a friend or get some from a local baker. You can also order some online. Either way, before you start baking, make sure your starter is healthy, well-fed and active.
1c active sourdough starter (mine is all white and on the thicker side)
1 1/2c (200g) all purpose flour
1 1/2c (200g) whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp (8g) salt (I use pink Himalayan)
11oz (320ml) filtered water
1. In a big glass bowl mix all ingredients together to a sticky dough ball. Cover bowl and let ferment 12-18 hours. I usually either do this before I go to bed to bake in the morning, or in the morning to bake at night.
2. After the initial bulk fermentation your dough should be very bubbly with lots of holes and jiggle a bit like Jello. Don’t go longer than 18 hours, or even more that 12 if it’s really warm, or your sponge will turn back into starter. Deflate the sponge by scraping down the sides of the bowl using a silicon spatula. Scrape the dough from the side of the bowl and fold it over itself towards the other side of the bowl. Then turn the bowl and repeat. Scrape, fold, repeat. Until you have a smaller sticky dough ball in the middle of your bowl. The dough is very wet, but should stick to itself more than to the bowl or spatula.
3. Grease your bread pan (mine is about 9×5”) and I use coconut oil) and pour your sponge into the pan, scraping down the sides as you go. Cover the bread pan to keep the moisture in and set your timer to 1 hour. (Short if it’s really hot, or longer if it’s really cold. Sourdough like it warm, preferably between 70º and 80º)
4. After the hour is over your second ferment is probably a bit bigger again. Turn on your oven to 425º, sprinkle the bread with seeds or oats (optional).
5. When your oven is up to temperature, bake the bread for 40min.
6. Take it out of the oven, cover it with a towel for 10-15 min.
7. Remove from pan, which should be easy now, and let it cool down completely on a cooling rack. Resist the urge to cut the hot loaf. The steam inside keeps baking the bread. If cut too soon it might get to chewy inside.
There you have it. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy as we like to say around here.