Sourdough Bread Recipe

AuthorSteve Nubie
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Sourdough bread is a classic and traditional bread recipe that has been around for centuries. It features a bubbling, mass of yeast in flour usually kept in a crock that allowed someone to have access to an endless yeast supply. This required feeding the sourdough yeast starter with additions of flour and sugar, but for pioneers who couldn’t buy yeast readily it kept them suppled with all of the yeast they needed.

Sourdough bread is a coarse textured bread with a crispy crust and a piquancy similar to vinegar. There’s no vinegar in the recipe but the sour taste comes from the yeast fermenting over time and the high levels of carbon dioxide to cause the rise.

You can buy sourdough starters in some grocery stores or make your own. Making it yourself is not hard but takes some time and attention. It’s essentially a combination of warm water, yeast, sugar and flour kept in a crock or container and allowed to bubble and thrive over a long period of time. Some sourdough starters in San Francisco have been going strong for hundreds of years.

INGREDIENTS:
Sourdough Starter Ingredients:
 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or quick active dry yeast
 4 cups lukewarm water (105°F to 115°F)
 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
 4 teaspoons sugar
Sourdough Bread Ingredients:
 1/2 cup water
 3 cups bread flour
 2 tablespoons sugar
 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
 1 teaspoon bread machine or quick active dry yeast
 1 cup sourdough starter
Glaze (optional)
 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoons of water for glaze (optional)
Sourdough Starter Directions:
1

You’ll need to make your sourdough starter at least 1 week before making your first loaf of bread. This is why many people prefer to buy their sourdough starter already made.

2

To make it yourself dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast in warm water in a large, glass bowl

3

Whisk in the 3 cups flour and 4 teaspoons of sugar and either continue to whisk or beat with electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute or until the thin batter is smooth.

4

Cover loosely with a damp washcloth and let stand at room temperature for about 1 week or until the mixture is bubbly and has a sour aroma.

5

Don’t worry about re-moistening the washcloth, but keep the bowl covered as much as possible. The bubbles that you’ll see in the starter are caused by carbon dioxide gas. This what is released by yeast every time we bake and causes bread to rise.

6

Transfer the starter to a 2-quart or larger nonmetal bowl or large glass jar with a lid. Cover it tightly and refrigerate the starter until you’re ready to use.

7

After you’ve used the starter you can replenish it by adding a teaspoon of sugar and about 3/4 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of water and stirring it all together. Cover loosely and store in a warm place for at least a day. After a day refrigerate again.

8

Remember as well that you need to let any refrigerated starter come to room temperature before using. It will expand a bit as it warms up and that’s okay.

9

Once you have your sourdough starter established you’re ready to bake your first loaf of sourdough bread in your bread machine.

Sourdough Bread Directions:
10

Add ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated in the recipe.

11

Select the Basic White cycle for a 2-pound loaf and a medium crust. After the loaf has risen, quickly glaze the top with the egg wash, slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife and let the machine finish the baking cycle.

12

When the bread is done, cool it on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS:
Sourdough Starter Ingredients:
 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or quick active dry yeast
 4 cups lukewarm water (105°F to 115°F)
 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
 4 teaspoons sugar
Sourdough Bread Ingredients:
 1/2 cup water
 3 cups bread flour
 2 tablespoons sugar
 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
 1 teaspoon bread machine or quick active dry yeast
 1 cup sourdough starter
Glaze (optional)
 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoons of water for glaze (optional)

Directions

Sourdough Starter Directions:
1

You’ll need to make your sourdough starter at least 1 week before making your first loaf of bread. This is why many people prefer to buy their sourdough starter already made.

2

To make it yourself dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast in warm water in a large, glass bowl

3

Whisk in the 3 cups flour and 4 teaspoons of sugar and either continue to whisk or beat with electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute or until the thin batter is smooth.

4

Cover loosely with a damp washcloth and let stand at room temperature for about 1 week or until the mixture is bubbly and has a sour aroma.

5

Don’t worry about re-moistening the washcloth, but keep the bowl covered as much as possible. The bubbles that you’ll see in the starter are caused by carbon dioxide gas. This what is released by yeast every time we bake and causes bread to rise.

6

Transfer the starter to a 2-quart or larger nonmetal bowl or large glass jar with a lid. Cover it tightly and refrigerate the starter until you’re ready to use.

7

After you’ve used the starter you can replenish it by adding a teaspoon of sugar and about 3/4 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of water and stirring it all together. Cover loosely and store in a warm place for at least a day. After a day refrigerate again.

8

Remember as well that you need to let any refrigerated starter come to room temperature before using. It will expand a bit as it warms up and that’s okay.

9

Once you have your sourdough starter established you’re ready to bake your first loaf of sourdough bread in your bread machine.

Sourdough Bread Directions:
10

Add ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated in the recipe.

11

Select the Basic White cycle for a 2-pound loaf and a medium crust. After the loaf has risen, quickly glaze the top with the egg wash, slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife and let the machine finish the baking cycle.

12

When the bread is done, cool it on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve.

Sourdough Bread Recipe

Steve Nubie

Steve Nubie has been writing professionally for 38 years. He is a Chef and has traveled across Asia and Europe studying language, culture and cuisine. He instructs culinary classes in the Culinary School at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and has written extensively on cuisine, cooking, diet and nutrition. He is a published author of 10 books including a cookbook and continues to write on subjects related to culinary trends.

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3 Comments
  1. Reply
    Fran January 27, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Can the sourdough starter be frozen between uses? If not, what’s the maximum time it can be refrigerated?

    • Reply
      Admin February 5, 2019 at 11:38 am

      Hi Fran.

      No. If you freeze a sourdough starter it kills the yeast. Yeast is a living organism. It’s a form of fungus that’s dormant in its dried form in a package or jar. Once it comes in contact with a warm liquid, a little sugar and gluten in flour it springs to life. It gives off a waste product in the form of carbonn dioxide. This carbon dioxide release is what causes a bread to rise. Refrigerating a starter makes it dormant again and it will reactivate once added to a recipe, but freezing it kills it.

  2. Reply
    Juanita June 15, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Great recipe. My go-to now after trying several. I just adjust it for altitude and it is delicious and works great every time! Thanks so much.

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