If 2020 taught anyone anything it’s that there’s a baker inside everyone. And you’ll be pleased to learn the warm, tangy crusty sourdough bread of your wildest dreams isn’t out of reach, or difficult to make. Sometimes the hardest thing is actually getting started, and by that, we mean having the right tools at your disposal. Sure it’s fun to play around in the kitchen with an old baking tin and an old recipe you found in your cabinet - but let's get down to business. You’re here to make delicious sourdough bread. Here’s how our sourdough making kit can make that happen - and an easy to follow sourdough bread recipe for the nervous beginners out there.
So what do I need to make this happen?
You’re going to need a few things to get started. Our sourdough baking kit has all the essentials plus a few extra helpful bits and pieces to get you off the ground. Here’s what you can expect inside:
- 3 x 5g Pure Parisian Sourdough Levain - this is enough to create 10 loaves of sourdough bread and can keep your starter mixture alive and running to create an endless source of homemade bread in your own kitchen.
- Breadsmart Sourdough Making Tool Kit - this includes your essentials such as a dough whisk, proofing basket, spatula, reusable cotton basket liner, double-ended blade to score the top of your bread giving that authentic look.
- Thermometer - crucial for testing and is easily cleanable.
- 1 X Wide Mouth Quart Glass Mason Jar - the ideal size for your sourdough starter.
- Recipe E-Book - containing a wide variety of different baking methods and helpful tips beyond what you read here today.
How to “start” the starter
This is the first thing you’ll want to do before you start the actual “baking” part. It’s important to get this bit right- a healthy starter means better bread. Grab your starter and let’s get to it!
To activate your starter - grab these essentials:
- 5g of pure Parisian sourdough Levain
- 200g of organic flour
- 200ml filtered water - warm to 30-35 degrees
- 3g salt
Here’s how to get your starter up and running:
Once you’ve got your water to temperature (try adding cold and hot water until between 30-35 degrees) pour the required amount into your glass jar and add the Sourdough Levain. Mix well until dissolved, then add the flour and salt and continue to mix until well combined. Cover the glass jar loosely and leave in a warm spot for 12-16 hours.
How do you know when the starter is ready to use?
Once you’ve waited out the 12-16 hours your starter should look alive and bubbly. You’ll notice it’s risen a fair bit too. That means you’re ready to include it in your Sourdough recipe. You’ll be taking a bit of starter off every time you bake - topping up your starter culture with equal parts flour and water and leave to ferment at room temperature for 24 hours. Store your precious starter in the fridge and use/feed it within 2 weeks.
The Sourdough Bread Recipe
Now comes the fun bit. The baking and yes, the eating. Treat this sourdough bread recipe as a foundation - and follow it strictly at first. Once you’ve got the hang of it - you might find you’re changing it up to your preference. Remember there’s no ‘secret’ recipe for bread.
- 150g starter culture
- 250g warm filtered water
- 500g of organic flour
- 25g olive oil
- 10g Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt
Mix and create the dough
Start by adding the starter, olive oil, and water to a large mixing bowl. Then add the flour and salt mixing everything until your dough has fully absorbed every bit of flour. Keep in one big lump and cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth. Leave for an hour.
Rise your dough
After the dough has rested, knead it gently into a ball and re-cover with the damp cloth, and leave in a warm place (window sill) or above a heater on a low setting for roughly 3-12 hours. There isn’t a magic number because everyone’s dough will be different. Once it's doubled in size - you’re ready to go.
Stretch and fold your dough
While this is optional - if you’ve got the time and patience - stretching the dough during the rising phase can work wonders for the density and texture of your bread. About an hour into the rise - uncover your dough and pull up the top part of your ball. Stretch it up and fold it back down. Swivel your mixing bowl and repeat 4 times. This can work wonders for the shape and height of your final loaf.
Shape your loaf
Shake some flour into your bench or workspace (so nothing sticks) and place your dough on the bed of flour - repeat the folding exercise until you’ve created your desired shape. Use gentle folding motions and keep it all in one ball. If you’re after 2 medium-sized loaves cut your dough in half - and shape your individual loaves.
Prove your dough
Grab your proving basket - your dough needs to sit and rise one last time. The proving basket makes sure your dough is supported and doesn’t “rise” sideways. Dust your basket with flour - and line it with your reusable basket liner. With a tad more flour to stop your dough from sticking, you can safely place your soon-to-be-loaf in for another 1-3 hours rising time. When the dough is slightly puffier, you’re ready to finally bake.
Preheat your oven to 230C / 450F
Score your dough
Using your bread lame blade, gently slice the top of your dough - this will give a beautiful texture once baked.
Bake your dough
Place your dough on a baking tray and get it in the oven. Make sure it sits nice and central to get even exposure to the heat. If you feel like going pro - consider adding a tiny bit of water to the oven for a steam effect. Bake for an hour - or until it looks golden brown on top. Remember to leave it to cool before slicing it open. Enjoy!