This is the old-fashioned way to make bread. It can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours in which most of that time is spent letting the dough rise. Old-fashioned baking is by no means quick, but it is easy. Sourdough bread is fermented so all of the difficult-to-digest phytates from the grain are broken down making this bread wonderful for your digestion.
Here is what my starter looked like this morning on day eight:
Sourdough From Scratch Using Your Sourdough Starter
makes 2 loaves
Here is what you will need to make your bread:
3 cups of your sourdough starter
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
4-8 cups flour (whole wheat, rye, or spelt are even better options)
Pour 3 cups of your starter into a large clean glass mixing bowl (remember that sourdough will react with metal and plastic so stick to glass or ceramic bowls). Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of cold water and stir with a wooden spoon until the salt it disolved.
Slowly stir in your choice of flour, two cups at a time. For this batch, I only used about 4 cups. The more liquidy your starter is, the more sour your bread will taste.
Now, work in the flour on a clean surface until your dough is knead-able. Knead your dough for 8-10 minutes. It’s going to suck, but try your best to go the full time. Your arms will thank you later… after the ache subsides.
my YouTube video on how to knead bread dough
Place your well kneaded dough back into your bowl and cover with a clean cloth. The natural yeast in your sourdough will go to work to make the dough rise and release the nutrients! Now let your dough rise until it has doubled. It is less to think about if you let it rise overnight.
In the morning knead your dough for another 5 minutes or so (a little less is okay of your arms still hurt from the last kneading session). Divide your dough into two sections and shape your dough into balls. Place your dough balls into glass or ceramic pans. Within about two hours, the natural yeast in it has been activated so that the bread rising in the pans will be ready to go into the oven.
Bake your bread in a 350 degree oven for one hour or until the bread sounds hollow when you thump it.
Next time you want to make a batch of sourdough bread, get your starter out of the refrigerator in the evening and pour it into a clean glass jar or bowl. Feed it by adding one cup of flour and one cup of cold water. You will need to keep your starter fed about once a week whether you bake bread that often or not. Place cheesecloth on top and let it sit in a warm place all night.
In the morning, if there are bubbles in the sourdough, indicating that the yeast has been activated, begin the above process of making a batch of bread being sure to leave a few cups of starter in the jar for future use! If you aren’t ready to bake bread, stick it back in the refrigerator.