After the pandemic hit and people had trouble buying bread since it was often sold out everywhere, they started learning how to bake bread at home. Then things got worse when it was very hard to come by yeast. Luckily, there is a way to bake bread without any yeast at all. The key was to make bread without any yeast.
Sourdough bread is made by making a starter that attracts wild yeasts and will help you make bread with just flour, water, and salt. Sourdough bread is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional bread made with commercial yeast. The process of making sourdough bread is a bit more involved than traditional bread making, but the end result is well worth the effort. In this article, we will take a closer look at the process of making sourdough bread and the benefits of incorporating it into your diet.
1 – Create the starter
The first step in making sourdough bread is to create a sourdough starter. A sourdough starter is a mixture of flour and water that has been fermented with wild yeasts. These wild yeasts are naturally present in the environment and can be found on grains, fruits, and even in the air. The purpose of the starter is to introduce these wild yeasts into the dough, which will then ferment the dough and create the characteristic sour flavor of sourdough bread.
To make a starter, you will need flour and water. The ratio of flour to water can vary, but a common ratio is 1:1. Begin by mixing equal parts flour and water in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, discard half of the mixture and add equal parts flour and water again. Repeat this process for several days, until the mixture becomes bubbly and starts to have a sour smell. Once your starter is active and bubbly, it is ready to use in your bread dough.
It is very important to use water that doesn’t have any chlorine in it. This is because chlorine will kill any of the bacteria in the starter that develops. The bacteria are essential so you will need to use water that is filtered so make sure to buy a water purifier for sink.
2 – Let it ferment
Once you have your starter, you can begin to make the dough. The exact ratio of ingredients will vary depending on the recipe you use, but a basic recipe includes flour, water, salt, and your starter. Mix the ingredients together until they form a dough. You can do this by hand or with a stand mixer.
Once the dough is formed, let it sit for a few minutes to allow the gluten to develop. Then, knead the dough for several minutes. This process helps to develop the gluten in the dough, which gives the bread its structure.
After kneading the dough, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit for several hours or overnight. This is the fermentation process, during which the wild yeasts in the starter will ferment the dough and create the sour flavor of the bread. The fermentation process can take anywhere from several hours to overnight, depending on the recipe and the temperature in your kitchen.
3 – Shape and bake the dough
When you see freshly baked artisan loaves in the bakery, they often have a well-developed crust that has been sliced down the middle for a wonderful presentation. This is due to the fact that the dough was shaped and formed before baking. This makes something of a skin that will give your loaf the shape that people are looking for rather than end up in a lumpy mess.
After fermentation, the dough is shaped and placed in a Dutch oven or other covered pot. The pot is then placed in a preheated oven and baked. The covered pot helps to create steam in the oven, which gives the bread a nice crust. The bread is usually baked for about 45-60 minutes. Once it’s done, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely.
One of the most important things to remember when making sourdough bread is to be patient. The fermentation process can take several hours, and the bread needs to be baked at a specific temperature for the right amount of time. But with patience and attention to detail, you will be rewarded with a delicious, homemade loaf of sourdough bread.