UPDATE 2022: This article originally appeared in spring 2015, when more of our content focused on healthy habits and sustainable lifestyles indirectly related to bamboo. Since then, the website has evolved and now concentrates on the multifarious aspects of bamboo gardening, bamboo cultivation, and the bamboo industry. But since we are such fans of fermentation and we continue to bake sourdough loaves on an almost daily basis, we decided not to purge this page from the site. We hope you enjoy the delicious recipe as much as we do.
Our daily bread
A big part of healthy living is definitely healthy eating. After taking a couple of classes from Virginia at Vert Foods, we’ve been on a sourdough kick. A healthy sourdough starter on the kitchen counter and endless possibilities at your fingertips.
Here’s a super easy recipe that I adapted, replacing the commercial yeast with my starter. There are many reasons why you want to use the wild yeasts of a sourdough starter over the commercial yeast available in every grocery store. If you had followed Vert Foods on their Facebook page, you could have learned about this and much more. But unfortunately, Virginia has deactivated this site, making the information more difficult to find.
The sourdough bread recipe
1 cup fed sourdough starter
200g (7oz) white flour
200g (7oz) whole wheat or rye flour
325g (11 fl.oz) filtered water
9g (~1.5 tsp) sea salt
3g (~0.5 tsp) bread spice*
150g (5oz) seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, etc)
*For making the bread spice, grind 2tsp fennel seeds, 2tsp anise seeds, 2tsp caraway seeds and 1 tsp coriander and mix. Store in an airtight container. This makes enough for about 4 loaves.
The night before you want to bake, mix all ingredients EXCEPT the seeds into a loose dough ball in a non-reactive bowl (glass). It’ll be very sticky. Cover and let it rise overnight.
In the morning (or whenever you’re ready), deflate the dough, which will be significantly bigger and bubbly by then, and fold in the seeds. The dough is very wet, but it should stick together more than sticking to the bowl.
Grease a bread pan (mine is a 5.5” x 10.5” pyrex pan) and sprinkle it with corn meal or wheat bran (optional).
Pour your dough into the pan, sprinkle it with a bit of flour, cover it with a towel and keep it in a warm spot. I use the same towel for this every time. It has flour on it and I keep it in my proofing bowl.
After an hour or so, test the dough by poking it gently with a finger. If the hole dent pops halfway back out, your dough is ready for baking. If it pops right back out and disappears, let it rest a little longer. (Read more here about the myth of “double in size”) Depending on how warm your selected spot is, this takes 30 min to 2h.
About 15 min before you think you’ll be ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450º.
When your loaf is done proofing, mist it with water and sprinkle more seeds, oats, etc on top. Put it into the oven and bake for 20 min. Then turn your oven down to 400º, mist the top of the loaf again and return to oven for 25 more min.
Let it sit for a few minutes, then take it out of the pan. Wrap it into a towel and let it cool down completely before you cut into it. We have a great selection of awesome bamboo cutting boards and I also highly recommend a good bread knife.
My German grandpa always said: “A good bread only needs butter on top.” This bread really doesn’t need anything else…
I’m just starting out with sourdough baking, so if any of you seasoned bakers out there have any tips on how to improve this recipe, please chime in and share your secrets!
What’s your favorite sourdough recipe? Please share!
Edits and comments
You can make a simpler bread by just using water, flour, salt and sourdough starter. Leave the seeds and bread spice out, or just sprinkle some seeds on top before you put the bread into the oven. It’s just as yummy, I promise!
Also, you don’t have to put corn meal or wheat germ into the pan either. Just grease it generously, and when you’re bread comes out of the oven, let it sit in the pan for a few minutes. It should come out relatively easily.
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