A Beginner’s Guide To Making Sourdough Bread At Home – Sourdough bread is one of the most complex processes involved in the world of baking. Because each process takes a little time to complete, it is certainly a laborious process. However, the end product will be incredibly tasty and well-rounded, especially if you are following the beginner-friendly tips below.
If you have considered making sourdough bread more sour, or if you are new to baking, then this is a great place to start! The great thing about making your own sourdough bread is that you have complete control over the flavor that is achieved.
Firstly, one of the most important things that is responsible for a great deal of flavor within sourdough bread is the sourdough starter. This is used in all authentic recipes, and it can be added to dough to complement the flavors.
The estimated timeframe that it takes to make a functional sourdough starter varies, but it is worth allowing around seven days for everything to combine. However, it is not uncommon for the sourdough starter to take ten days or even two weeks in some cases. Remember that your starter is ready when it has doubled in size and there are bubbles on the top.
You can make your starter using whole wheat flour and water. By gradually adding all-purpose flour and water, you can feed your starter to create a critical ingredient in sourdough bread. The starter will begin to bubble once the yeast has formed.
It can be kept in the refrigerator or frozen if you don’t mind leaving it dormant. However, it takes a little longer to re-activate the starter after fully thawing. Warmer conditions tend to make the starter react faster, which can contribute to a faster process than keeping it chilled.
Using The Sourdough Starter
Once you have created the starter, you can measure out the amount that your recipe calls for, and store the rest as appropriate. This depends on the conditions that you made the starter within, and the intended use of the starter.
When you are ready to use your starter, you can begin to explore the different recipes online or through recipe books. The great thing about creating your starter is that it is highly versatile, and there is a range of different things that you can use it for. These include sourdough pizza bases, focaccia, bread, and even add some to waffles!
Don’t Rush Proving Time
One of the most important things to remember about making any type of bread is that the proving time should not be rushed. Skipping proves can lead to a compromised dough structure and even a slight chewiness after baking. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you allow plenty of time for your sourdough bread to prove in order to achieve the best possible results.
Likewise, you should ensure that you keep your dough in the recommended conditions within your home when proving. In most cases, it is likely that the recipe will recommend warm temperatures or even somewhere dark. Make sure you follow these directions as closely as possible.
Using A Baking Pot
Another thing that is worth using when it comes to sourdough is a baking pot. There are plenty of bread pots available on the market that is ideal for baking, but a Dutch oven usually works great with most sourdough breads.
Using a baking pot is necessary for achieving the artisan style of bread complete with a crust that makes a satisfying crunch when sliced. Dutch ovens can trap heat and provide additional steam control, which can make the sourdough taste great.
Cut The Top
You will also need to score the top of your loaf in order to let additional steam out while your sourdough is baking in the oven. As a result, the bread can expand and give it a unique visual appearance after baking. You can use anything that is available to make markings on top of your loaf, including a serrated knife, or a bread lame.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to making sourdough for the first time is to not be afraid. This can apply to all kinds of baking, because sourdough bread can be somewhat temperamental.
As a result, the key is to be confident with your decisions and know that you will improve your technique gradually. Remember the role that each ingredient plays and ensure that you are following the recipe closely.