There is nothing super fancy or spectacular going on here. There isn’t going to be an Eiffel Tower beautifully carved onto the top of this bread.
Also, I am not a weigher nor do I know the hydration level of my starter. I measure using cups and I’m not even that accurate at that. If you are looking for a more technical sourdough bread recipe – I don’t have that for you.
What I’m trying to say is that this is our daily grind sourdough bread. It is the bread that we use for sandwiches, dinner bread, toast, and all the things for which you would use store bought bread. It’s versatile, but it is still sourdough bread so it’s not going to taste like store bought bread.
As a mom of four small children, my mind set is, “I want it healthy, yummy, and with the least amount of fluff as possible”, especially since I am making this every three days.
We all love bread around here.
1 cup Sourdough Starter
3 cups Water (warm)
2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Rapidura (honey or brown sugar)
6 cups Flour
**Please put the suffix -ish at the end of all of those ingredients. This is a very forgiving bread.
Broad Time Table:
6-8 pm – Mix together the ingredients, cover with a towel, place in a warm place to rise overnight.
6-8 am – Remove risen dough from the bowl, divide, shape, and add to Banneton baskets for second rise in a warm place.
12-3 pm – Remove the risen dough from the Banneton baskets and into the bread pan or dutch oven to bake.
1. The night before you want to make bread:
Mix together 1 cup sourdough starter, 2 1/2 cups warm water, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup of Rapidura (alternatively honey or sugar alternative). Then slowly stir in 6 cups of flour.
You will need to use your hands for this. This will be a wetter dough then traditional yeast bread, but you should be able to give it a gentle knead for a minute. You may need to add some extra flour to your hands to make this easier.
2. Cover and let it sit overnight in a warm place. It will double or half grow overnight, and then you can get it ready for the final rise.
3. The next morning scrape the raised dough out of the bowl and onto a well floured surface. Divide the dough in half, or keep together for one extra large loaf.
4. Stretch the dough as far as it can go without breaking.
5. Then fold the dough in on itself and shape into a tight ball or log shape.
6. Heavily flour the top of the dough as well as the Banneton baskets.
Alternatively, you can use a glass bowl or bread pan, but you will need to put a VERY well floured towel in first so it doesn’t get stuck.
**Please don’t ignore that emphasized “very”. Meticulously peeling off a stuck towel, in hopes of not ruining your bread, is no fun at all.
7. Once they have grown by half a size, remove them from the baskets and score the dough with a razor blade or serrated knife.
You are scoring the dough to allow the dough to expand nicely. For round loafs I create a simple large star shape, sometimes adding little leaves to the lines. For the traditional bread loaf, I add two long slits along sides at the top, and a long line with branches.
8. Place in the bread pan or a dutch oven with the lid in a preheated oven at 425 F for 40 minutes if you are using the bread loaf pan, or if you are using the dutch oven at 40 minutes remove the lid and allow to keep baking for an additional 10 minutes.
You can use baking parchment paper to make it easier to remove the bread, but this isn’t necessary.
9. Don’t touch it! Allow it to rest and cool for at least an hour before cutting it.
It really needs time to finishing baking on the inside. You’ll also notice the breads crust will soften as it rests.
10. Use a serrated knife to slice into your rustic homemade bread and enjoy!
This bread is so delicious and there are no parts of me misses store bought bread. My kids enjoy its milder flavor (thanks to the sweetener) and the softer crust (brought to you by the lower oven temp), and my husband enjoys having bread for dinner.
However, if you are looking for that traditional crusty sour bread, just omit the sugar and raise the oven temp to 450F. You may need to watch the bread closer at the end in order to make sure it doesn’t start to burn too much on the bottom.
I hope you give this simple bread a try. It’s very forgiving and is quite simple once you make it once or twice.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to hang out here!