This week’s Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon wraps up Sourdough Month, which has been a resounding success. I’ve sent out more than 100 packets of sourdough starter, and there are still a few days left of the giveaway. Join the 5th Annual Sourdough Giveaway here. If you’re just now learning about the giveaway, you can read about it and my starter in this blog post.
To round out the month, I’m sharing my first and still favorite sourdough bread recipe. My niece and nephew initially called it Auntie Julie’s Special Bread, because they only ate it when I visited with a loaf. It’s lost that title now that my brother-in-law bakes with sourdough starter. It may be less special, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious.
Learn more about baking sourdough bread and get the complete recipe for Sourdough Cabin Bread in my column.
Twice as Tasty
I scaled the column’s recipe for a single loaf, but I originally shared it as double batch prepared in one session and then, if desired, baked a few days apart for two loaves. I’ve also made smaller loaves for gifting and turned the dough into crusty round dinner rolls. The dough also makes tasty buns, especially after it’s sat in the fridge for several days.
However you shape the recipe, a few of these tips and tricks may come in handy:
- This bread recipe is based on a ratio: 1 part starter, diluted with 2 times its weight in water, and turned into dough with 3 times its weight in flour. Keep that in mind if you decide to make more loaves or large batches of rolls at a time.
- The chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride in municipal water can sometimes cause problems when working with sourdough. If you’re getting poor results, try using distilled water instead.
- I like a mix of all-purpose and whole-wheat flours in my loaves, but you can sub in other flours. If you don’t keep multiple flours in your kitchen, stick with an all-purpose white. I change my technique slightly for a rye-heavy variation; it may work best for an all whole-wheat loaf. Be sure to let me know if you experiment.
- The repeated fold-and-wait process means you don’t have to spend long minutes kneading the heavy dough. If you’re not folding exactly on the hour, don’t worry; the dough can handle delays. I’ve successfully baked loaves after doing all of the folding in about 1-1/2 hours and letting the dough sit longer in the fridge. I’ve also started the process too late in the evening, stuck it in the fridge overnight, and picked up where I left off the next day.
- If you don’t have a baking stone, just use a cookie sheet. Do use a bowl larger than the fully expanded loaf; the steam lightens the interior and crisps the crust.
- I bake smaller loaves at the same temperature as the original recipe but knock off 5–10 minutes. I bake rolls made from any dough at the same temperature and time as Sourdough Brioche Buns.
Remember, this is just the start of your sourdough adventures. If you need a reminder about caring for your starter, bookmark this blog post. You’ll find many other tasty sourdough recipes and tips on using your starter here.
Need starter? The 5th Annual Sourdough Giveaway runs through January 31, 2022. Get your free sourdough starter here.