I hope you are not tired of sourdough because today, I have a sourdough bread recipe for you! Yes, as you might guess, our family is really enjoying sourdough baked goods! After being on the GAPS diet for almost 2 years without any grains, I think breads are pretty awesome.
Sourdough bread is not just any bread either. The beauty of the sourdough process is that it neutralizes the phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that binds with minerals making them unavailable for the body to use. Phytic acid can also be neutralized through proper grain preparation or by using sprouted flour but the slightly sour taste of sourdough breads is just so good!
Another benefit of the sourdough process is that it breaks down the gluten. In fact, a study done in England with celiac patients showed that most of them can tolerate real sourdough bread without any problems. The number of participants was small, but it does give hope. You can read more about the study in Study Finds Wheat Based Sourdough Bread Tolerated by Celiac Patients.
You will need a couple of things to get started with the following sourdough recipe. The first is a digital scale. Many bread recipes are based on weight since it is more accurate than measurements. A cup of flour that is scooped out of a jar verses one that is scooped and shaken down to compact it verses one that is scooped out and leveled off can all weigh differently. There is not this variability with using a scale to weigh the exact amount of flour added. I purchased from my affiliate partner the Cuisaid ProDigital Scale which is not one of the more expensive scales but it is easy to use and accurate.
A sourdough starter is also needed to make sourdough bread. If you are fortunate enough to have a friend nearby that bakes with sourdough, you can get a starter from her. If not, my affiliate partner, Cultures for Health, carries 5 different types! I have the San Francisco which my daughter-in-law bought from them and gave me – well, actually she gave my oldest daughter some, who then gave me some – Whew!
As you look at the following sourdough bread recipe, don’t be put off by the length of time it takes. The sourdough process is a longer process of making breads but the actual hands-on time is minimal – there is a lot of resting and rising. It is this lengthy preparation time that develops the wonderful sour taste, as well as, breaks down the phytic acid and gluten!
This sourdough bread recipe makes beautiful artisan type loaves with a crunchy crust. If you prefer a softer crust, once the bread is out of the oven, brush the top with butter.
- 450 g sourdough starter
- 1275 g unbleached white flour
- 825 g water
- 30 g salt
- Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Allow to rest 30 minutes.
- Stretch and fold using the stretch and fold in the bowl technique:
- To do this simply stretch one side of the dough lifting it slightly out of the bowl but not allowing the dough to tear and fold it back to the center of the ball of dough. Pat down the seam and turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat stretching and folding until you have done the whole ball of dough. See "stretch and fold in the bowl" illustration for more detail.
- Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the stretch and fold in the bowl on the ball of dough for 10 rounds. Rest for 30 min.
- Repeat the stretch and fold in the bowl again for 10 rounds. You should be feeling a difference in the dough by now - it is getting tougher/stronger which means the gluten is developing. Rest for 30 minutes.
- Put the dough on a lightly floured counter (you still want the dough to have traction on the counter top) and do the stretch and fold technique for 1 round. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with saran wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the stretch and fold on the floured counter. Reform the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl. Leave the dough at room temperature until it has increased by 50%.
- Place the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, remove dough from the refrigerator. place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into loaves. Allow the loaves to rest for 60 mins.
- Shape the loaves and allow them to proof in pans or supported by towels for 35 mins.
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Score the loaves and bake with steam for 35 - 45 mins or until they are browned. See Notes.
To bake with steam, place a metal (not glass) pan in the bottom of the oven while it is preheating. After putting the loaves in the oven, carefully pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan and quickly close the oven door. Be careful not to spill any water on the glass window of the oven door as there are reports of shattered glass with this method. I did it so it can be done - just be careful! You can also put a towel over the glass of the door while you pour the water - just take it out before you shut the oven.