Baking with sourdough starter can be intimidating, but here is a sourdough bread loaf recipe for beginners that you will love. There are so many recipes out there that require hours and even days worth of kneading, waiting for dough to rise, and kneading again. This recipe simply requires throwing some ingredients together, giving your dough time to rise once, and then baking.
Whether you are buying your sourdough starter from me or starting it from scratch, there are a lot of health benefits to eating true, old fashioned, sourdough bread. This particular recipe is what I cook for my family to eat instead of store-bought sandwich bread. We love the taste and texture of sourdough bread!
1/2 Cup of Sourdough Starter
3 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Molasses
1 Cup of Warm Water
If you have a stand mixer this process is so much easier, because you will not have to knead by hand. Add your dry flour and salt first, and mix it together. Then add the rest of your ingredients to your stand mixer bowl and mix together using your hook shaped dough attachment. Allow your stand mixer to do all the work. Allow it to knead the dough for approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
If you do not have a stand mixer, you will have to knead your dough by hand for at least 5 minutes. It will be really sticky, but so very worth it.
Once your dough is kneaded, spray a 9×5 bread loaf pan with non stick cooking spray. Then simply dump your dough into the bottom of the pan, and using your fingers spread the dough to all four corners. At this point you are going to cover the dough in the loaf pan with a wet towel, allowing the towel to touch the dough. This helps prevent the dough from drying out while it is rising.
How Long Does It Take For The Dough To Rise?
THIS is the question that only YOU can answer. The recipe that I followed originally stated to allow it to rise for 12 to 24 hours. I’m not even joking. I had to play around with this step a few times before I was able to get a routine together.
There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to figure out your rise times. The level of humidity and the temperature of your kitchen will effect how long it takes to rise. I have heard that the elevation of the area in which you live will even effect it. I was hoping that I would be able to prepare my dough and allow it to rise overnight so that I could just stick it in the oven the next morning, but that didn’t work for me. Down here in North Louisiana where I live, it literally only takes five to six hours for my dough to rise. It may be different for you depending on where you live and how warm you keep your kitchen, so just play around with it until you get it right.
How To Know When The Dough Is Ready To Bake
This is pretty easy! It is going to rise above the top of your pan, and it is going to look plump and bouncy. If you slightly poke the top of your dough with your finger and it bounces back into shape, then it is ready to bake. If for some reason you think you may have allowed it to sit for too long, that’s okay. Bake it anyway. It may not be perfect, but it is still yummy. You will know that you allowed it to rise for too long when the dough looks like it has risen, but then wants to begin sagging.
Bake your sourdough bread loaf in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Again… the amount of rise that your dough had will determine your cook time. One way to tell if it is ready to come out of the oven or not is to tap the top of the loaf with your finger. If it sounds hollow when you tap it, it is ready. If it sounds muffled then it may need to bake for a few more minutes. Just play with your bake times. You aren’t going to mess it up unless you just forget about it and char it.
Allow your bread to cool completely before slicing it. Store bread in an airtight container such as this one, and eat the bread within three or four days. Homemade bread does not contain yucky bad for you preservatives, so it will not last as long as store bought bread.
Good luck! If you bake this recipe then I hope you will come back here and leave me a comment telling me how it went.
EDITED TO ADD A VARIATION:
Do you love cheesy garlic bread? Using this same exact recipe you can add garlic salt and shredded cheese to your ingredients before you mix your dough. Then just before you put it in the oven to bake, sprinkle the top with more shredded cheese. This gives you a delicious loaf of cheesy garlic bread. Play with the amounts of garlic salt and cheese you want to add. I suggest starting with two cups of your favorite cheese and two tablespoons of garlic salt instead of the regular salt called for in the recipe.