Bread Recipe Starter and Sponge
In times gone by,
sourdough bread recipes were created in
kitchens from sourdough
had been formed using wild yeast. Even today, wild yeast abounds in the
air, but unfortunately, if you just rely on wild yeasts
to make bread,
or even wines, you can never be guaranteed that it will work
successfully every time. Therefore it is better to make sourdough
bread by using a starter that has been created from commercially
You will find that sourdough bread that has been made from a starter
that has been around for a while usually tastes better and better each
time it is made. Over time it looses its sharpness. This is because
over time, wild yeasts in the air, end up in this starter, which helps
to improve the taste.
However, there will always be some sharpness as this is what gives this
bread its unique flavor.
So here is a sourdough bread
for those of you who are looking to make a delicious homemade bread.
All sourdough starter recipes are
basically the same.
How to Make a Sourdough
In a large bowl, mix 100 g of strong
bread flour for
the sourdough starter – at least 50 % spelt flour or wholegrain flour
with enough warm water to make a batter that is a thick gloop. Beat it
well with a non-metal wooden spoon to add air into it and then cover
with cling wrap in a warm area.
Next to a wood stove or in a warm kitchen is fine. When you see bubbles
appearing on the top and has a fermenting smell you know that the
process has begun. This can take a few hours to a few days. It smells
funky – it is supposed to, so don’t panic!
At this stage your sourdough starter needs feeding,
could end up adding as much as a kilo of flour before it is ready for
the next stage. However, you don’t add it all at once. You start by
adding 100g at a time into the starter mixture with enough water to
retain the thick gloopy consistency. You can use water at room
temperature but not cold water.
Cover the sourdough back up with a clean tea
leave again for 24 hours. Now,
scoop out half the starter and throw it away. Stir in another 100g
flour and add more water.
Repeat this process of throwing away
sourdough starter and adding the 100g flour every day making sure that
maintain the sloppy consistency and keeping your
starter at room
Always make sure that your sourdough
starter can breathe. Therefore it should be always left on the kitchen
counter covered with a loose tea towel. Never put it in
an air-tight container.
After about 7-10 days with this
sourdough bread recipe you have a mixture
that no longer smells funky, but actually smells quite pleasant,
will certainly smell the yeast at this stage.
For those of you who are going to bake
bread on a
regular basis you can maintain your sourdough starter in the same way,
at room temperature, taking some out to make your sponge and feeding it
again with the 100g of flour. In this way you will always have a steady
supply of starter and you will never have to buy packaged yeast again.
For those of you who are not going to
bread every other day or so, then you will need to
that you treat
the sourdough starter properly so that it does not spoil. You can do
this by simply adding enough flour but no water so that it now becomes
a stiff dough rather than a batter. You can leave it like this for
about 4 days without feeding it. Or, you can stop the fermenting
process by placing the sourdough batter in the fridge in a non-metal
container and this will keep for a
week without needing to do anything to it. You can also freeze the
starter and it will start fermenting upon thawing.
If you are going to refrigerate your
will need to bring the starter back to room temperature and give it
another feeding to get it bubbling again before you start the sourdough
bread recipe of your choice.
To bring your sourdough batter back to
life, stir it up and feed it 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup lukewarm water and 1
The Sourdough Bread
Your sourdough sponge should always be made either the night before you
intend making your bread if you live in a cool climate, of for a couple
of hours if you live in a warm, tropical climate.
Room temperature will definitely affect the way your sourdough bread
will turn out as warmer temperatures will get the sponge to work
quicker. But the longer the sponge is working, the more sour your bread
will turn out to be. If you let the sponge sit too long in warmer
climates the yeast uses up all the sugars and stops making bubbles.
To make the sponge you take 100ml of
the starter and
mix it with 250 g of flour and 275ml of warm water in a large bowl. Mix
well with your hands and then cover the bowl with the cling wrap and
leave overnight. The next morning your sponge will be thick and
Sourdough Bread Recipe 1
Now it is time to make your sourdough.
You add 300g
flour to the sponge, along with the oil and the salt. Mix with your
hands. The dough will be sticky. If not, add a little more water. If it
is too loose you need to add more flour. Being on the wet side is
Turn the sourdough out on to a lightly
knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Place in a large
bowl and cover with a clean tea towel.
Leave it to rise all day or
overnight as sourdough rises very slowly, usually 6 hours. It should
have doubled in
size before you use it.
Knock it down and now place in lightly
tins. Once the bread has risen again, and it doesn’t spring back when
you poke it, it is ready to be baked.
Here is Another Sourdough Bread Recipe: Sourdough French Bread
1 cup sourdough starter
2 tsp. sugar
1.5 cups warm water
4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour (for kneading)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
thing in the morning mix the starter, water, and 4 cups flour in a
bowl. Put this in a warm place, cover loosely with a clean tea towel,
and leave it for the rest of the day. By evening, it should have
doubled and smell like your starter again.
Mix the sugar, salt,
baking soda and 1 cup of flour together. Now sprinkle them over the
dough, and mix well.
the dough out onto a bread board and knead it well, using the remaining
flour. Shape loaves and place them on lightly greased baking sheets.
Let rise until doubled in bulk.
tops of loaves with a sharp knife, brush them with well-beaten egg, and
place in a 400°F oven.A pan of water on lower shelf
oven can help make a crispy crust. Bake until lightly brown and bread
sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
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