As a self-proclaimed carbohydrate enthusiast, I love bread. Like, all bread. Truthfully, I never really have considered making my own. I shared last week that I am cooking more with the kids, and homemade bread seemed like the perfect thing to add to our cooking routine. We go through a crazy amount of bread in this house, so why not make it at home and a bit healthier? Keep reading as I document my first loaf of sourdough bread.
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My first loaf fresh out of the oven
When I first started thinking about baking bread, I planned to grab some packets of dry yeast and whip bread up on a whim, with no planning ahead necessary. But then I thought a bit more about why I’m baking bread and reading about the benefits of sourdough bread.
Did you know sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index than white bread? Sourdough is made with a live fermented culture, and this fermentation process may make it easier to digest and makes the nutrients easier for our body to process. Pretty cool, right?
We won’t even go into how beautiful a fresh artisan sourdough loaf is and how this photographer swoons over beautiful bread photos. Nah, not important at all.
This last point is my favorite – no bread machines, no fancy mixer, or tools needed. You truly can get away with just a few things that you likely already have in the most basic kitchen.
Supplies for Baking Sourdough
You can get as much or as little as you’d like in terms of supplies for baking sourdough. I’m extra, so I ordered several things to make the process a bit easier, but really, that isn’t necessary! The basic tools you need are a big bowl, kitchen scale, and a dutch oven.
Oh, and of course Google is free, but I love a good cookbook, so I grabbed this one that was recommended by my friend Mary on her Instagram.
The part that seems most intimidating to the new sourdough baker is procuring a starter culture and maintaining it.
I did a bit of research and ended up ordering a sourdough starter culture by Cultures for Health. It came with step-by-step directions for activating the dehydrated culture. It was super easy for me as a beginner bread baker!
Other options to get your hands on a sourdough starter are to get some from a fellow baker or simply combine flour and water to let the wild yeast present do its thing!
Getting the Kids Involved
There are so many ways to get the kids involved in this process!
Kids can help feed the sourdough starter each day and take turns covering it with a towel and placing it in a warm spot.
Next, while preparing the dough, ask your child to watch the numbers on the scale. ‘Tell me to stop when it says five zero zero!”
Of course, kids love the messy mixing process! All of us got our hands in the bowl to mix the flour and water together.
Lastly, after the bulk rise, they can carefully help fold and shape the dough. Flour dusting is definitely a favorite too! In fact, I think my entire kitchen is still covered in flour dust LOL.
Dough after autolyse
Dough after second rise and shaping
Scored sourdough loaf
Finished sourdough loaf
I’m sharing a basic sourdough recipe similar to the one found in Artisan Sourdough Made Simple. As I keep learning about sourdough and personalize this a bit, I will update!