As part of my push to eat more naturally fermented foods (and because whole grain breads have been giving me a lot of heartburn and reflux lately), I decided to dip my toes in to the world of sourdough. I ordered a starter from King Arthur Flour and followed their excellent instructions on working with it. This is my first big bake with my starter and it couldn’t have come out any better.
Word of warning – this bread takes a full 2 days to make due to the sourdough component. Your starter will need to be fed, and then the dough will require an overnight proofing in the fridge before baking. Don’t do what I did and plan to make it on Sunday afternoon only to realize that I couldn’t actually bake it until Tuesday.
Also this works best if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook.
Prep Your Sourdough Starter
If you keep your starter in the fridge as I do, then you’ll need a day of prep and feeding to get your starter in working shape. Take the starter out of the fridge and divide it as usual. Don’t discard what you remove. Set it aside in a bowl. Feed the remaining starter just as you normally would and put it back in the fridge.
Take the “discarded” starter and mix in 1/2 cup water and 1 cup flour. Let the starter work for at least 4 hours and better yet, overnight. (Don’t refrigerate it!) When it’s bubbly and frothy, it’s ready to work with.
Mix the Bread Dough
Measure 5 oz by weight of your starter into the bowl of your mixer.
7 oz (just shy of 1 cup) of cold water
Start the mixer and get the water completely mixed with the starter.
10 oz of flour (I used all purpose White Lilly flour)
Mix this until it’s just sticky, then cover with a towel and let sit for 20 mins.
1 tbsp salt (I used kosher)
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped,
1 tsp chili flakes (
1 tbsp chopped rosemary (I used fresh from my garden, add a little extra if you’re using dried)
Turn the mixer back on and as those ingredients are incorporated, start adding more flour. You may need to add up to another 8 oz of flour (about 2 cups) to get a smooth but slightly sticky dough.
Once you get a smooth dough, continue to knead it for about 6 mins.
Put the dough in the fridge overnight to proof. I put mine in the loaf pan first and then put it in the fridge, but you can also just leave it in the bowl.
Bake & Eat!
The next day, take the dough out and let it come to room temp (at least 2-3 hours). If you’re going to shape it in to a round, this is the time to do it. Otherwise you can leave it in the pan.
Bake at 450° for about an hour (if you’re using a thermometer, the internal temp should be around 200°F.
Let it cool, slice, and try not to eat the whole damn thing!