Sourdough: The Art of Making Bread

Oh. My. GOSH! You guys. I finally did it. I finally made sourdough bread.

My husband and I go through a loaf of sourdough a week. We’re obsessed. From eating just the bread to making extravagant sandwiches, we use it all! So…I’ve been thinking a lot about that. I spend $5 a week buying a nice loaf of sourdough from Village Baker, easily the best bread ever, and was wondering if there was a way to get the same taste but cheaper? Of course there’s a way, silly Kayla! Make it yourself!! That’s not to say I’ll never buy Village Baker bread again, which is impossible because it’s so delicious, it’s more of me finding my creativity through food and saving a little money here and there.

Baking is not my forte. I’ve always been a cook. I learned from my dad and grandma growing up. It’s a passion of mine. I love trying new recipes, creating new recipes, and eating said recipes. I’m the type of cook who measures with her heart and not necessarily a recipe. Although, I do love searching Pinterest for a good step by step recipe to try.

How it started: Apple Pie

This year, I decided to try something new. Baking. My inspiration came from a British baking show, The Great British Baking Show. They have 12 competitors and each week they compete in three different baking competitions. Just when I though I couldn’t love food anymore, I stumble upon this show. Their technique, their passion, their creativity! It was all too much! I had to try it for myself. Interested? Check it out for yourself on Netflix!

The first thing I baked this year was apple pie. I went and bought some apples from an orchard, invited my mom over, and started baking. She’s been baking practically her whole life so this was easy for her. For me, it was a little more difficult. I’ve noticed baking recipes are rather exact, whereas cooking recipes are usually pretty loose with the ingredients. I felt like my “creativity” was being squandered. Little did I know I was wrong. While you do have to follow the recipe closely, the challenge of getting the recipe just right for baking was enough to keep me interested.

How it ended: Sourdough

My last bake of this year was the sourdough. I didn’t start baking until the end of summer/beginning of fall and did it about once a month so I haven’t baked much. But what I have baked has been so much fun. Sourdough has definitely been my favorite so far. It’s been the most challenging, too. I think that’s why I liked it so much.

I got the recipe from a book my mother-in-law gave me a while back. It’s called How to Cook Everything! It’s this huge book that, quite literally, has everything in it. When I decided I wanted to bake sourdough, I knew there had to be a recipe in there. Once I finally picked up the book and searched, I found it. It was finally time to make sourdough!

The Recipe

So this recipe is very simple and easy to follow. This was my first time ever making sourdough, or bread of any sort for that matter, and I think it turned out perfectly. The sour flavor was there, the salt intensified the sourness a little. Which is perfect in my book. I love a good sour sourdough. The crust was hard, but not so hard you couldn’t bite through it. I’m very keen on a hard crust. I love the crunch in my bread. And the inside of the bread was light, airy, and fluffy. It sort of melted in your mouth when you bit into it. I was absolutely astonished at how well the bread turned out.

To get started you’ll need a large bowl, a mixing spoon, flour, water, yeast, and salt. Once you have all your ingredients and tools you can get started! Now, it is important to note that this recipe takes 2-3 days to make so be sure to take that into consideration before baking your bread, especially if you’re baking it for a special occasion. It simply can’t be done in one day. Once you look at the recipe you’ll see why.

Ok so we’ve got our tools, we’ve got our ingredients, let’s finally get to that recipe!

Recipe from the book How to Cook Everything

Tips and Tricks to Sourdough

Ok so I learned a handful of tips and tricks along the way. Try these out and it should make your bread making experience a little easier.

  1. Read the entire recipe at least once through before starting. It’s easy to forget a step or get confused over the course of 3 days.
  2. I let my starter go for 3 days like the recipe suggests. I felt it gave the starter a little more time to ferment and hoped it would give it a very sour taste, and it did.
  3. Set alarms. This is extremely important because during the first 2-3 days you’ll be stirring your starter every 8 to 12 hours and you DO NOT want to forget. This could cause your starter to die or lose potency.
  4. In step three, after it says to put half the starter in the food processor with the remaining ingredients, it says to blend and add a little water. I added no water. Flour was added because the starter was so wet . This did not mess with the flavor or integrity of the bread whatsoever.
  5. I didn’t have anything fancy to put my bread on when cooking so I used a lightly oiled baking sheet. Worked perfectly.
  6. The recipe didn’t say for how long to bake your bread. I checked mine in increments of 20 minutes. Tap the bread and once it sounds hollow, it’s done.
  7. Try this bread recipe with our Vegan Tikka Masala recipe, I bet it would taste amazing dipped in the sauce.

Try it Yourself!

If you love sourdough, or bread, as much as I do, I strongly encourage you to try this recipe. It’s challenging but simple…if that makes sense. Kind of keeps you on your toes. If you do try it, let us know how it goes! The good, the bad, and everything in between!

My love be in your heart and light upon your soul,

Kay 💛

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