My friend Emily makes the best sourdough bread ever! The cool thing about sourdough is that you can grow your start and share it with others. She gave me my start, but if you don’t know someone with a start you can create your own. This recipe is similar to the recipe Emily used to start hers. Once you have a start this recipe is the easiest bread ever to make. No really it is, no kneading at all. It just takes some planning since it needs time. You bake it in a dutch oven. This is the the 7-Quart Dutch Oven that I bought and its the perfect size.
Two other things that are good to know. The older your start, the more sour your bread. So if you make your own start, don’t be surprised if the first few batches are not very sour. It will get more sour over time.
The other thing I love about this recipe is that it doesn’t take very much yeast. In fact in the summer Emily does not add yeast at all. I love being able to make bread even if I don’t have yeast on hand!
I keep my start in a glass canning jar in the refrigerator.
Here is how you make the bread. First, pour your start into a bowl.
Mix it well.
Once you have it mixed take a cup of the start and add it to large metal bowl. Add 1 cup of cool water and whisk well.
Add the remaining ingredients (2 cups cool water, 6 cups bread flour, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp yeast) and mix until it is combined. It will be sticky.
Cover the bowl with your favorite tea towel and leave for 12-15 hours.
You need to replenish your start after you get your bread going. All you do is add equal parts flour and water. I add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water.
Mix well and pour into a clean jar. It really helps to have a canning funnel.
Refrigerate your start!
After the 12-15 hours your dough should look bubbly.
Flour your counter and then dump the dough onto the counter.
I wash my bowl, dry, and grease the bowl before I do anything with my dough. Then kneed the dough a few times. It is really sticky so its less like kneading and more like turning the dough over a few times in the flour.
Place dough into your greased bowl, and cover again with your towel. Let rest until you are ready to cook, but at least 45 minutes. I have let it go for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with your Dutch oven inside.
Sprinkle cornmeal in the bottom of the dutch oven and dump your dough into the dutch oven. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and cook for another 15 minutes.
Dump the bread out onto your counter and prepare to be amazed!
We love to dip ours in basil olive oil with aged balsamic vinegar. We buy our oils and vinegar from Oliver’s. They have the best oils and vinegars! If you sign up on their email list they offer free shipping every 3-4 months. It saves me a trip to CA because I can not live without their Meyer Lemon Olive Oil!
If you want to share your start just add 2 cups flour and 2 cups water when your grow your start. Then you can divide it in half and share.
- 1 cup start
- 3 cups cool water
- 6 cups bread flour
- 1/4 tsp yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- Add a cup of start to a large metal bowl. Add 1 cup of cool water and whisk well. Add remaining 2 cups water, flour, salt, and yeast. Mix well. The dough will be sticky, not kneadable. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave for 12-15 hours.
- After the 12-15 hours your dough should look bubbly. Flour your counter and dump the dough onto the counter. Knead the dough a few times. It is really sticky so its less like kneading and more like turning the dough over a few times in the flour.
- Place dough into greased bowl, and cover again with your towel. Let rest until you are ready to cook, but at least 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with your Dutch oven inside. Sprinkle cornmeal in the bottom of the dutch oven and dump your dough into the dutch oven. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Be sure to add equal parts water and flour to your start to grow more. Keep your start refrigerated.