I grew up in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood of Toronto. At the time it was a small community with a predominant population of Polish and Ukranian immigrants. The Roncesvalles strip was filled with European bakeries, deli’s and restaurants. It was always a treat when my mom or grandmother came home from the local shops with freshly baked breads and kielbasa. My favourites were always sourdough and challah. It was the start to my love for all things artisan bread/foods. In this post I walk you through how you can make homemade Sourdough Bread.
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Why is Sourdough Bread Healthier than traditional White or Whole Wheat Bread?
As much as I love baking and eating bread, my stomach doesn’t always tolerate it. I often bloat up after eating bread and feel overly stuffed. I would give up bread for periods of time which would help but I was equally not happy about not being able to consume the food I so much love. Then I started researching gut health and benefits of long fermenting foods. Long fermenting foods – as is done with many recipes that use sourdough starter – have been proven to be more easily digestible. According to a medically reviewed article in the INSIDER,
Sourdough is a healthier alternative to regular white or whole wheat bread. Although it has comparable nutrients, the lower phytate levels mean it is more digestible and nutritious. The prebiotics also help to keep your gut bacteria happy, and it may be less likely to spike blood sugar levels.Zia Sherrell, Jun 13, 2020
After creating my own starter and incorporating more recipes using the starter into my diet, I have noticed a difference in how my body reacts to eating bread or other foods that have been long fermented. I’m convinced and happy to report that my starter is here to stay!
Creating Your Sourdough Starter from Scratch
Don’t have a starter already on the go – not to worry I have you covered. Find out How to Start a Sourdough Starter from Scratch. Other options are to beg your sourdough loving friend for some of their starter or you can buy a kit from amazon to help you get started (I’ve listed some kits below – but really it isn’t that hard if you follow my step by step instructions 🙂 ).
Links to some sourdough starter kits I found on Amazon.
Tools you might find helpful
- Banneton bread proofing basket kit or a shallow bowl
- Stand Mixer with a dough hook
- Silicon Spatula, we have this set and love it!
- Beeswax wraps
- Cast iron Dutch oven – I highly recommend one with an enabled finish on the inside
- Thin sharp scoring blade or knife (I use a small pairing knife)
Ingredients for Homemade Sourdough Bread
- 4 cups organic flour (this is one area where I believe its worth to invest in organic)
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 11/4 cup water (you might need a little more if your environment is dry)
- 2 tsp salt
Step-by-step guide to Homemade Sourdough Bread
1. The night before, add all ingredients in the order listed to the bowl of a stand mixer. (When using the mixer, I always add the flour first as I find it mixes better than adding the wet ingredients first.)
2. Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on medium speed for about 8-10 minutes. After 1 minute, stop the mixer and scrap down the sides, if needed. Continue mixing. Dough should be stretchy.
3. Place in a greased bowl and cover with beeswax or plastic wrap. Let sit for 12 – 24 hours.
4. The next day, place your Dutch oven with lid in the oven and preheat to 490oF.
5. Place a piece of parchment on a Banneton or shallow bowl. Sprinkle with flour. Dump the dough onto the parchment and shape it. Let sit until oven is ready. (Optional: After the dough has had a chance to sit, score a design in the top of the dough ball with a sharp blade)
6. Remove the Dutch oven, remove the lid, carefully place the parchment and dough inside the Dutch oven, cover and place back in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to 450oF and remove the lid from the Dutch oven. Your bread should be light golden in colour. Cook another 10 minutes for a lighter crust or 15 minutes if you like a hard crust.
8. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Enjoy!
How to Store Your Homemade Sourdough Bread
How you store your homemade bread is important in order to keep it from going stale to quickly. I wrap the bread in a large piece of beeswax and wrap inside a tea towel. You can also place it inside a clean plastic bag or Ziploc. We stopped buying Ziploc bags in an effort to reduce our reliance on plastic and find the beeswax works well.
Homemade Sourdough Bread from Scratch
- Stand Mixer
- Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- 4 cups Organic flour
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1 1/4 cups filtered water
- 2 tsp salt
The Night Before
- Add all the ingredients in the order they are listed to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on medium speed for about 8-10minutes. After 1 minute, stop the mixer and scrap down the sides, if needed. Continue mixing. Dough should be stretchy.
- Place in a greased bowl and cover with beeswax or plastic wrap. Let sit for 12 – 24hours.
The Next Day
- Place your empty Dutch oven with lid in the oven and preheat to 490oF.
- Place a piece of parchment on a Banneton bowl or shallow bowl. Sprinkle with flour. Over turn the dough onto the parchment and shape it. Let sit until oven is ready. (Optional: After the dough has had a chance to sit, score a design in the top of the dough ball with a sharp blade).
- Remove the Dutch oven, remove the lid, carefully place the parchment and dough inside the Dutch oven, cover and place back in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 450oF and remove the lid from the Dutch oven. Your bread should be light golden in colour. Cook another 5 minutes for a lighter crust or 10 minutes if you like a hard deeper coloured crust.
- Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Want more sourdough recipes? Visit the Sourdough Page and sign up for our Newsletter so you don’t miss out on future recipes!
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