Sourdough bread is a great alternative when wanting a healthier bread. If you haven’t read my article on sourdough bread, you can read it here: A Healthy Bread That Is Good For You! I have always loved an authentic sourdough loaf. A true sourdough loaf is made with wild yeast, or a sourdough starter. If you haven’t read my post on how to start a sourdough starter, you can do that here: How To Start Your Own Sourdough Starter. This loaf of bread has 4 ingredients, that is it! It is super easy to make but does take some time to ferment. This dough actually ferments for 19 hours. Don’t let that scare you…the whole process will take you 10 minutes of prep time and the rest of the time the dough just sits there getting better and tastier.
There are several things that you will need to get started. It is a good idea to have a digital scale to measure your ingredients but is not absolutely necessary. I do my best to show you how to utilize what you have in your kitchen so you don’t have to buy any special equipment. I use a dutch oven to cook my bread in. Often times people will cook sourdough in a La Cloche, but I find it just as easy to use a dutch oven. Another item that is often used when cooking sourdough bread is a proofing basket or a round brotform (pictured at bottom of post). Again, I just use what I have in my kitchen. You can make a proofing basket by using a colander lined with a thin towel (not a thick towel). You might want to purchase a danish dough whisk, but a slotted spoon works as well. See the bottom of this post to see where you can purchase these items. I have pictures showing you all of this. This recipe was modified from Breadtopia, a great website that teaches us all how to make a better loaf of sourdough! So lets get started.
The first thing you need to do is measure out 350 grams (1 1/2 cup) of filtered water (at room temperature). Place water into a ceramic bowl, not metal. Stir in 3 tablespoons of honey. If using raw honey, melt the honey on low heat until it turns into a liquid.
Add 1/4 cup of this starter to the water mixture and stir well.
In another bowl, measure out 530 grams (about 5 cups fluffed) of 100% whole spelt flour. Add 10 grams (1 1/2 tsp) of unrefined sea salt and stir. Please note, you need to use whole spelt flour, other flours will not work with this recipe.
Mix the flour mixture in with the water mixture. Stir with a slotted spoon until well combined. The dough will be a wet dough.
Cover with plastic and store in a warm place for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, dust your hands and the top of the dough with flour. Pick up the dough and stretch and then fold the dough. Stretch once again in the opposite direction. Place back into bowl and cover with plastic for another 1/2 hour. After a half hour do a second stretch and fold in both directions. Put back in bowl and cover with plastic for another half hour. After a half hour do a final (third) stretch and fold in both directions. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic and allow it to sit overnight. I usually start this whole process at 3:30 pm and bake it the next morning at 9:30 am.
In the morning you will need a wood cutting board, a colander and light dish towel.
This is what your dough will look like in the morning. Yours might rise a bit more, it all depends on the weather and how warm your kitchen is. It was cooler in my kitchen, so it didn’t rise as much, but don’t let that alarm you, it will still rise as it proofs and cooks.
Flour the cutting board, hands, the dish towel in the colander and the top of the dough with rice flour. Gently scrape the dough out of the bowl and place it onto the cutting board. Pull the sides up and pinch the dough at the top. Place dough into the lined colander and cover with plastic and allow the dough to rise for another hour and a half.
In a 400º-450º F oven(temperature might vary depending on your oven, 450ºF was to hot for me, I cooked mine in a 400º F oven) preheat a dutch oven with lid on for the last half hour that the dough is rising. Pull the very hot dutch oven out of the oven and gently transfer the dough into the hot dutch oven by flipping the dough gently out of the colander. Put the lid back on and return to oven and bake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes remove the lid and allow to bake for 10 additional minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 195º-200º F.
Remove bread from dutch oven and allow the bread to cool for 1 hour before serving. Serve with some grass fed butter and enjoy!
- 530 grams (5 fluffed cups) spelt flour
- 3 tbsp honey
- 350 grams (1½ cup) water
- 10 grams (1½ tsp) unrefined sea salt
- ¼ cup sourdough starter, see recipe
- See Instructions in this post
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