A great sourdough bread is a wonderful addition to a bowl of warm soup or a great sandwich. A nice warm slice of bread is also just perfect still warm from the oven with a nice slather of butter. I have a starter that I have had in my fridge for the last year. You can simply start one and continue to feed it and keep it going in your fridge indefinitely. The starter makes a nice sour flavour for your bread.
You will need:
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp yeast
- 3 1/2 cups flour (2/12 cups to start and more for bench)
- 1 tsp salt
Step 1: remove starter from the fridge and let come to room temperature. Add 1 cup of warm water and 1 cup of flour to starter. Leave for 1 hour until bubbling.
Step 2: In a large bowl add the active starter, water, honey, yeast, 2 1/2 cups of flour and salt. Mix as much as you can in the bowl and turn out onto the counter kneading the dough until you have a soft dough. Add the remaining 1 cup only as needed adding as much as necessary until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch.
Step 3: place dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm location for 12-14 hours until doubled in size. The starter works slower than store bought yeast.
Step 4: Turn out dough onto counter with a bit of flour and knead into a nice smooth ball.
Step 5: place the ball of dough on a sheet of parchment paper and place in a large bowl. Let rise another 2 hours. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a heavy enamelled cast iron pot with a lid in the oven to heat for 20 minutes.
Step 6: carefully lift heavy pot from the oven and remove lid. Place the bread and the parchment inside the pot. Place the lid back on top and place in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the pot from the oven and take off lid. Place bread back into the oven for another 20 minutes uncovered until browned and baked through. The pot acts as another oven to really get the bread hot enough to bake a nice crust. You can back it further than I have baked it to get an even crunchier, darker crust.
Remove bread from oven and let cool before slicing.
Serve with a nice bowl of soup.
If you have any bread you can’t eat it can be frozen quite nicely.