Thursday, December 8, 2022

Sourdough Bread

I've been baking bread for a few years now and I feel pretty comfortable with dough, the varying hydration levels and the different types of bread, though I have a favourite recipe at 60% hydration.

However, sourdough bread is a completely different animal. Instead of fabric grown yeast, for sourdough bread you need sourdough starter. You can make one yourself at home or borrow from a fellow baker. Unlike store-bought yeast, which is one species of yeast, industrially grown, the sourdough starter usually contains various species of wild yeast and other sour microbes, like lactobacillus and other sour bacteria, that have been caught in the process of fermentation. And this makes sourdough bread really much richer in taste, but also so much more work and unpredictability of results.

I had watched quite a few YouTube videos (is there any other way to learn a new trick nowadays :) ), but dragged my legs when it came to starting my own starter. And then one morning over coffee a friend of mine mentioned that her daughter was into bread baking and had started her sourdough. I jumped at the opportunity and soon had my own little jar with a sourdough starter. 

I fed it for a few days, to let it accommodate and then, about two month ago, I baked my first sourdough bread. 
Since then I've tried half a dozen recipes and the one I have stuck to recently was suggested by the Chainbaker on his YouTube channel - No-Knead Sourdough Bread

I usually start my leaven in the evening and mix the bread in the morning. After two or three folds, I leave the dough to ferment for 4 hours, then fold the bread, leave it for two more hours and bake it in the evening. Yes, I know, it takes a lot of time and I am not going to argue whether it is worth it or not, but the resulting bread is really very different from the standard, much easier to make bread with dry yeast.


  • 10 g starter 
  • 50 g water 
  • 50 g strong flour


  • 100 g leaven
  • 240 g strong white flour
  • 50 g rye flour
  • 190 g water
I still haven't bought any special equipment - a fancy proofing basket or a cast iron skillet, so I proof and bake my sourdough bread in a Jenna glass casserole. It is not ideal, but works well for now.

My bread is still far from perfection and my crust is not as airy as I would like it to be, but I'm getting there. And there is so much to learn and experiment along the way :)

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