Sourdough Bread | How to Make Sourdough Bread at Home
Sourdough bread is delicious, simple, but takes some time to make! You'll need a sourdough yeast, which we explain how to make here. The patient baker will be rewarded with an amazing result!
Because sourdough yeast is made from nothing but flour and water, this bread can be said to contain only three ingredients: flour, water and salt!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
While you can knead the dough by hand, we recommend using a stand mixer for better (not to mention easier) results. We also recommend using a pizza stone and pizza peel, although a baking sheet will work as well.
You'll need to prep your sourdough yeast before making the recipe. If keeping your yeast in the fridge, remove it to room temperature three days before you plan on starting your bread. Feed it every day. On the final day (when you plan to start the bread) feed it 4 hours before beginning your dough.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 4.25 oz. (120g) sourdough yeast (use the soft interior, discard the hardened crust)
- 4 1/8 cup (500g) bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 2/3 cup (375ml) water
- 3 1/2 tsp (20g) salt
Place the yeast in 1/3 cup of water (75ml) and stir until the yeast mostly dissolves (don't worry if there are still some clumps). Cover and set aside for later.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the remaining water (1 1/3 cup or 300ml). Mix with a wooden spoon until all of the flour is wet. Cover and set aside.
Allow the flour mixture and yeast to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes before proceeding.
Transfer the dough and the yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir on a low speed setting with a hook attachment. After the two components are well-incorporated, increase the speed to "medium" and add the salt.
Let the mixer knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Then, increase the speed to high and let the dough knead for a further 10 minutes.
Cover the dough bowl with a clean cloth and let rest for 30 minutes. Wet your hands with water and, keeping the dough in the bowl, fold it in on itself 5-6 times. Cover again and let rest another 15 minutes.
Transfer the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour. Working around the perimeter. fold the edges inward using a bench scraper. Transfer the dough back into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 12-14 hours. For obvious reasons, we recommend planning your bake so that the dough can rise overnight.
Pour the risen dough onto a large, well-floured work surface. Gently pull the edges outward to stretch the dough into a big circle, about 12-inches in diameter.
Now it's time to fold it up! We'll do this almost like a burrito. Fold two opposing sides inward so that they meet in the middle. Now roll the resulting rectangle up lengthwise.
Line a bread basket with a clean cloth and dust it with LOTS of flour. Gently place the loaf inside, keeping the "seam" of the bread on the bottom. Dust the dough with more flour (plenty here as well), and cover with the overhanging cloth. Let rise at room temperature another 4 hours.
Preheat an oven to 430 degrees F (220 C). Place a tray of water in the oven to keep it moist. If using a pizza stone, preheat this as well.
When the dough has finished rising, it needs to be transferred either onto a baking sheet or a pizza peel (if transferring to a pizza stone). If using the latter, dust it generously with flour.
Gently lift up the cloth with the dough and set it down on a large work surface. Unfold the towel so the bread is exposed, and place either the baking sheet or pizza peel right next to the loaf. The trick here is to quickly pull the farthest end of the cloth over so that the bread flips onto the new surface. See video below.
Best to do so quick and confidently! The "seam" of the bread should now be on the top of the loaf, where it will beautifully open during the bake! The seam may be sealed up pretty well so give it a hand by making a shallow slice across the top with a knife.
Place the baking sheet in the oven or slide the bread from the peel to the pizza stone. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the water and lower the temperature to 390 degrees F (200 C) and bake a further 35-40 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven, lean it vertically against a stable wall or object, and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Sourdough bread lasts for several weeks when stored in a plastic bag at room temperature.