To make easy bread with sourdough has always been a dream for many of my students.
Can’t wait to meet all of you in person at my Dolce Vita in Tuscany Cooking School, maybe right in the kitchen from where I shoot my classes.
Well, now is the time to start baking. We will make some good ones together, from Focaccia to Bread, to all that wonderful universe that revolves around sourdough (yeast).
Only 4 ingredients to change the world: water, flour, yeast, and salt … and then to these you can add every detail that comes out of our imagination.
Making bread, however, is not at all easy. Furthermore, the procedure is very complex.
It is precisely for this reason that I have decided to come and help you with this fantastic, easy, and fast recipe.
In fact, while we wait for our sourdough yeast, (just created) to gain strength every day, we can try our hand at this experiment. I assure you that the taste is very good and it is also very very convenient as preparation because you can decide to do it in the evening for working it in the morning.
Very important tips:
- use the freshly refreshed yeast (so that at least 4 hours have passed since the last refreshment, but no more than 12 hours).
- it is a highly hydrated procedure, so flour the bowl in which you will leave the dough to rise very well.
- since it is sourdough (mother yeast), you will have to wait at least 6-10 hours (time depends on a multitude of factors) before it is properly leavened.
TRICK to understand when the dough has risen:
- bubbles are visible in or just below the surface; the dough has tripled in volume.
- The bread gains strength and flavor also thanks to the folding operation. For this bread it is sufficient to proceed with the wallet folds, closing the openings each time with the fingertips. Make the folds first on the long side and then on the short side of the dough.
To make easy bread with sourdough, but with active dry yeast as well
Facilitation on my part (of those that I happened to read a few times). In fact, next to the quantity of sourdough yeast, I put the right amount of yeast for bread making. In this way, you can make excellent bread even without mother yeast, perhaps halving the rising times.
- 1 pound (500 gr) Bread Flour OR All-purpose Flour
- 1⅓ cups (338 ml) water at room temperature
- 4 oz (100 gr) Sourdough; OR 3 tsp Active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of honey (or sugar)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Put the yeast in a bowl, add half a teaspoon of sugar to activate the yeast, pour the water, and mix.
- Add the flour a little at a time, the salt, mixing with a fork (if you don't use a standing mixer). Don't worry if the dough looks a bit grainy, that's normal!
- Let the dough rest in the bowl covered with foil for about 10/15 minutes at room temperature and then mix it again with a spatula, gently. Let the dough room temperature for about 30 minutes and mix with the spatula at least one time during this time.
- After 30 minutes at room temperature, cover the dough with a film and put it in the refrigerator.
- It'll stay here until we decide to bake the bread.
- Minimum fridge time: 6 hours, max 24 hours. We can prepare it the night before and then use it in the morning. Once the dough has been extracted from the refrigerator, it will probably have bubbles on the surface.
- We add some flour on a cutting board and work the dough with our hands, spreading it out to form a rectangle (obviously using a dough scraper).
- We fold the dough twice, closing it like a bag until it forms a round dough.
- Then we proceed to fold with the characteristic pushing and turning movement that will give the bread a round shape.
- Now let's put it on a bowl coated with a well, well, well-floured cloth and let it rise until to double the volume in a warm and closed place (I put it in the switched-off oven).
- When our dough has risen we take a cast iron pot or e terracotta one with the lid. Mine is 22 cm in diameter but if you have a larger pot don't worry, the bread will be fine anyway, it will only be a little lower. Now we put the pot inside the oven (lid included), preheated to 230°C (446 °F), and let it heat up. We take the boiling pot out of the oven, with the help of potholders and we put the dough into it, directly from the bowl, with the help of the cloth. Put the lid on the pan and cook at 230°C (446 °F) fan for 30 minutes, then open the oven, remove the lid and continue cooking at 220°C (428 °F) for another 20 minutes, until a nice crispy crust has formed on the bread.
The right pots
Cast iron, terracotta, Steel with a thick bottom, and also Pyrex glass, all with a lid.