Sourdough bread

Country sourdough-yeast bread

Yeast-risen bakery bread



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Sourdough bread

to see the recipe of the sourdough...

The most exquisite… The sourdough bread, an ancient recipe, keeps better than yeast-risen bakery bread (several days without any problem in a cloth). Its consistency and taste (which can be a little sour or even too much if the sourdough is not at its best) are also matchless.

For information, I organised the baking by dividing it in days, but nothing prevents you from organising it another way. The whole thing is to meet the rising times, which depend on quality and type of flour used, as well as the room temperature: the hotter, the faster, until the optimal temperature of 20-25°C (68-77°F)



In the morning, get the sourdough out and renew it: replace 1/3 to ½ of the sourdough by as much water, flour, +1/2 c.c. of sugar, keeping the initial consistency. Do this again in the evening, but without sugar. If you observe that your sourdough is not very active (takes long time to rise, or the bread obtained is not risen), it can be necessary to operate several of these "subculturing" (when you renew the sourdough) before using it, so that it get in good shape…
Let it in the room temperature, non-tightly closed.


In the morning, add:

- 100g of water (spring water is better because tap water can get the bread sour, weaken the sourdough, or even waste it, but it depends on the quality of your tap water)
- ½ c.c. of sugar
- 140g of flour 55 (5 oz)

Put a lid on it (non-tightly closed) or a wet coth (air must be able to pass).
Let it double all day long.

In the evening, bake the dough: flour mass is 4 times the one of the last sourdough. This mass can be decreased to 1kg if the sourdough doesn't seem very active, but not less, otherwise sourness of the bread would get too high.

- 1.2 kg of flour 55 (you can always use darker flour, if you prefer) (~42 oz)
- 6-700g of water (following the type of flour) (21-25 oz)
- 30g of (sea) salt (1 oz)
- 1c.s. of (brown) sugar

Put the sourdough in a bowl. Add up water and sugar and beat with a whisk. The result is liquid and bubbly. Add up flour until you get good consistency:


Dough mustn't be too sticky nor tear, it must be soft after kneading 5 to 15 min. Melt salt at the beginning of kneading.


Oil and flour a bowl and put the dough in it. Cover it with a wet cloth and let double all night long (12-15hr, or more, at 15°C (59°F), 6-8hr at 20-25°C(68-77°F), and depending on sourdough's strength).



Day 3

Take the dough out of the bowl without tearing it and put it on a slightly floured plane surface.

Flatten delicately with the palm in order to get rid of a big part of the air bubbles, round if you want to make ball, and in rectangle if you want a long bread, still not tearing it.

Take a dough sample to recover sourdough for next time…: usual volume, that is in ½ a pot of jam with little water to get back sourdough's consistency. Close the pot tightly and let it wait in the least cold part of the refrigerator (it depends on the fridge, usually in the vegetable box, but wherever not under 8°C or 47°F).

If you want a ball, fold the edges toward the centre in order to give shape to that ball.
If you want a long bread, just roll the dough.


Let grow until the 3/4 of the double of the initial volume (3-4hr at 20°C or 67°F) in a floured basket or for lack of that, directly on the dish which will be used for cooking (but the dough may spread too much, especially if it's too wet). Cover with a wet cloth.



Pre-heat the oven to 240°C (382°F)
It must be very wet for cooking (to get a good crust): In that purpose, pour a bowl of water in the dripping pan for instance, or in a hob that will lay on the base of the oven, 5 min. before putting the dough into the oven, to get a lot of steam.

Turn the basket over on a well-floured hob, or even better on some greaseproof paper. Strip with a razor blade, deeply (at least 1/3 deepness) particularly if you rolled the dough (when you make a ball, bread opens naturally, but a good stab can't hurt…). Cook for 3/4hr (20-25 min. at 240°C or 464°F then 200°C or 392°F). Cooking is perfect if you get a hollow sound when tapping the underside of the bread.

Lay it on a rack to cool it (on the stove for instance) for the underside crust not to soften…

Wait for a while, even if it's hard (!), before cutting a heel and spreading butter on it. At this stage, it could do a whole meal. By the way, with good cooked meats, cheese and a glass of wine, it's paradise.



You can always freeze the bread once cooled. To unfreeze it, put it in cold oven and heat up to 100°C (212°F) for about a quarter.

NB: Sourdough can wait up to 5-7 days in the fridge without being wasted. If you're not expecting to use it quickly, renew it before the end of that time with a pinch of sugar, and put it back in the fridge.

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