Sourdough bread has a unique tangy aroma and flavor that is delicious, but to make sourdough bread you do require a sourdough starter. The starter that I have been using for the past six years was purchased fresh from King Arthur Flour HERE. This starter came from one that is said to have originated from the 1700’s and has been carefully nurtured to this day. My starter has been very good to me, and despite being ignored for weeks, it always comes back strong after a couple of days of feeding. I even dry my starter every six months when I travel back and forth between North America and Italy and revive it with great results. To make the bread below, you will need a sourdough starter. You can purchase one as I did, or make your own starter. I have made sourdough starters from scratch in the past, and it does involve a fair amount of effort and time so I will not go into the instructions here. To create your own sourdough starter you can find information here at King Arthur Flour, here at Nourished Kitchen, or here at Breadtopia.com.
I am a huge fan of sourdough bread and have had a sourdough starter of some variety in my refrigerator for years. I rarely bake bread using only my starter without the addition of a little packaged yeast though as I am always nervous the starter simply will not be strong enough on its own. One day, I finally decided to bake bread using soley my starter, and although it did take longer for the bread to rise with a natural leavener, the results are well worth the effort. For this bread, I wanted an artisan whole grain bread and used a bag of Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain Flour. This flour includes wheat, rye, triticale, oats, corn, barley, soy, brown rice, millet and flaxseed which creates a very flavorful, dense crumb bread. If you prefer, you could use a whole grain flour of your choice, although the amount of water added may need to be decreased or increased slightly. I use either a covered cast iron or terra cotta casserole dish to bake my bread with great results. Using this method, the bread is baked covered for most of the cooking time. The cover is then removed to finish and brown the bread. This method creates a loaf of bread with a nice chewy crust which is how we pefer our bread.
Lightly Toasted & Served With Black Truffle Scrambled Eggs
Deborah Mele 2014
- 7 Cups Whole Grain Flour (I Used Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Flour)
- 1 Cup Bubbly Sourdough Starter (See Notes Above)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Plus More For Oiling Bowl
- 3 Teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
- 2 1/2 Cups (Approximate - See Notes Above) Warm Water
- Dump the flour, starter, olive oil, and salt into a large bowl or basin of stand mixer.
- Slowly add the water, stirring to mix until the mixture comes together. Use only as much water as needed to create a shaggy dough.
- Either use the dough hook of your stand mixer, or turn the dough out onto lightly floured counter and knead until smooth. (About 4 minutes by machine, 8 minutes by hand.
- Oil a large mixing bowl and dump the dough into it.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot in your kitchen until the dough has doubled in size, about 6 to 7 hours.
- Place two oven-proof casserole dishes in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
- Dump the dough onto a counter and divide in two.
- Shape each half into ball and cover with kitchen towels and let rest for 30 to 45 minutes or until soft and puffy.
- Using a little flour, shape the dough balls with your hands and place each into the preheated casserole dishes.
- Cover the casserole dishes and bake covered for 25 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread registers an internal temperature of 190 degrees F with a thermometer.
- Cool on wire racks before slicing.