Sourdough for Beginners

Sourdough for Beginners

Literally, we have the most delicious post for you today. Katie, Lauryn and Michael’s Executive Assistant is here to share the sourdough recipe she bakes for the Bossticks WEEKLY. Lauryn is obsessed. Everyone is.

Katie is such a whiz in the kitchen (and the office) and if you follow her on IG or read her blog post on peach habanero salsa, well, then you already know this.

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Sourdough for Beginners

Hi! You’ve seen my sourdough on Lauryn’s stories and on our Tiktok, but I’m here to give the full deets on the technique and recipe that I am obsessed with.

It’s a pretty decent beginner recipe, but just know it will take some practice to perfect. Here’s the original recipe that I started with and stick to about 80% now that I’ve gotten comfortable with the process. My edits to this recipe are only to add 100g of sourdough starter instead of 50g, and up the bread flour to 520g to account for the extra starter. It also makes a slightly larger loaf too, which nobody complains about lol. 

Before we get any further, let’s talk SOURDOUGH STARTER.

This is the origin of the entire process. You can buy a sourdough starter from a lot of bread shops or at a farmer’s market (The Sourdough Project in Austin is where I got mine).

This is an active, living, breathing “pet” that will make your loaf bubbly, airy and have that distinct flavor of sourdough that we all love. It consists of water and all-purpose flour, that’s IT. To start your own starter. It takes many days of “feeding” which is adding more flour and water repeatedly until you see bubbles and lots of fun activity – you’ll know when you see it. Here’s the how-to on creating your own and maintaining it so its ALIVE and ACTIVE to create the perfect sourdough loaf.

Freshly baked Sourdough

Next important part is to address the vessel you choose to bake your dough in. I have a super cute bougie dutch oven that my besties, Alston and Oscar, bought me as a gift. Using a cast iron dutch oven allows for optimal heating above 400F degrees and the ability to retain that heat during the baking process. A loaf needs to be steamed first. And this happens by starting it with the lid ON. Then removing the lid to get that crunchy and golden brown crust you see on all the prettiest sourdough loaves. You can also use any kind of deep dutch oven with a lid. Here’s another one that’s affordable as a good starting point.

Baking is a science.

I wish I would’ve paid more attention in chemistry to be honest because bread really is all about the right ratios and temperatures of all your ingredients and time to ferment and rise. I could get reaaaallly in the weeds with some nerdy bread facts, but this is the easiest way to explain the process. You add a leavening agent (sourdough starter or even packets of yeast if you are really wanting an easy route to a loaf) to flour and water, season it with salt, let it all acclimate to each other through time in a slightly warm environment, and bake it. 

Before we get into the step by step, here are some other items you might need once you fall in love with the process, but really all you need is a dutch oven and a sourdough starter.

Food scale to measure in grams instead of using measuring cups

Bread razor to score (cut) the dough before baking

Bread baskets that don’t stick to the dough 

Parchment paper to make an easy trip from your bowl to your dutch oven

Alright – you’ve got your materials and your active sourdough starter, let’s get to making some delicious sourdough.

*QUICK HACK* To quickly make sure your sourdough starter is ready to rock, get a glass of water, take a small scoop of your starter, and plop it into the water. If if floats, you’re good to continue. If it sinks, you need to keep feeding your starter and try this test again later.

bread with parchment paper

BEGINNER SOURDOUGH RECIPE STEP BY STEP

Step 1

Add 350g (about 1 ⅓ cups + 2 tablespoons) of water to a big bowl

Step 2

Add 100g (about 1/2 cup) of your active sourdough starter to the bowl with the water, stir until it dissolves. The water will be white and bubbly.

Step 3

Add 520g (about 4 cups + 3 tablespoons) of bread flour and 10g of sea salt (about 2 teaspoons) to the water/starter mixture.

Step 4

Mix until a shaggy dough forms into a rough ball. Then let it sit for 1 hour at room temp, covered with a kitchen towel.

Step 5

Remove the towel and begin a series of stretch and folds (pulling one side of the ball up, and fold it over the dough ball, quarter turn the bowl, repeat – until you’ve gone all the way around the dough ball – about 4 folds total). Cover with a towel again and let it sit for 30min at room temp.

Step 6

Repeat step 5, then let dough sit at room temp, covered with a towel, for 8-10 hours to do it’s bulk ferment.

Step 7

Dough should look slightly bigger and fluffier than when you saw it last, woo! Dump it upside down onto a floured surface and begin to shape it into a round loaf. Pull the dough towards you from the bottom to create a tight “skin” across the top of the loaf. Do this about 10 times, or until the dough starts to hold its shape.

Step 8

Place your dough onto a sheet of parchment paper, and pop it back into your bowl, covered with a towel, at room temp, for 1-2 hours.

Step 9

At about the 1 hour mark, set your oven to 450F and place your dutch oven with lid into the oven to preheat as well. 

Step 10

When the oven reaches temp, CAREFULLY remove the VERY HOT dutch oven from the oven and onto a heat-protected surface. Make a slit in the top of the dough about a 1/2″ deep and across the length of your dough ball. Use the parchment paper to sling it from the bowl to the hot dutch oven. Return the lid to the dutch oven and CAREFULLY place it back in the oven for 20min.

Step 11

Remove the lid and continue baking for 20-25min or until it’s golden brown and crackly. 

Step 12

Remove the whole dutch oven from the oven (VERY HOT BE CAREFUL PLEASE!) and let loaf cool for 2 hours, this is the hardest part lol.

Step 13

Slice & serve up with some grass-fed salted butter (the best IMO). You can store this in a bread box or wrapped in butcher paper for 3-5 days, if you haven’t devoured it quicker than that. But I bet you will.

Sourdough recipe
Bread sliced in half

*Be sure to check out the original recipe for a more visual step by step guide if you need it.

Breadmaking is a lot of trial and error. You’ll learn the quirks of the process and develop your own methods, but trust the process here and get your hands dirty with this recipe. I love it. Lauryn loves it, Zaza and Michael love it – who doesn’t love sourdough!? Try it and tag me in your loaf pics! @HANGRYHOBSON on Instagram. 

x Happy Baking!

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Let us know if you try it out. What’s better than a warm piece of fresh sourdough with a big slab of butter. Yum.

x, The Skinny Confidential team

+ check out this post for healthy Mediterranean recipes.

++ make Lauryn’s Erewhon pink drink at home. 

SHOP SOURDOUGH ESSENTIALS:

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