Easy Sourdough Bread Recipe Using Starter
Have a go at this bread machine recipe for easy sourdough bread recipe using starter you made yourself, and you’ll be joining millions of your ancestors in enjoying this gourmet delight – all assisted of course by an automatic bread maker, which they were not.
Purist? Not me, I haven’t always the time to knead and prove and finally bake, better to toss in all in and walk away until the dough is ready to bake – you do need to finish in the oven though!
This is the best sourdough bread recipe I’ve made and have been using it for years – it unfailingly turns out gorgeous bread.
Now let’s be upfront at the start – because the sourdough starter is left to gather wild yeasts from the air sourdough bread can be stubborn, it has a temperamental streak which makes each loaf you bake very individual and to me all the more fun for that.
The dough itself may require slightly varying amounts of liquid because the starter also absorbs varying amounts of liquid from the air. Be patient, be observant – watch the dough as the bread machine kneads it and add a teaspoon of water or two if the dough looks too dry, or a tablespoon of flour (added slowly) as necessary – make this once or twice and you’ll know just by looking what adjustments if any are required.
On the subject of making plain dough, the best bread machines will always have a dough kneading setting for artisan bread, meaning just about any kind of bread is open to you. If you haven’t gotten a bread machine yet, keep in mind to make sure you choose one that can make plain dough – if you don’t you’ll wish you had.
Storing home baked bread to keep it fresh is usually best done by placing it in a purpose made cotton bread bag, or simply wrapping the loaf in a clean dry cotton towel – don’t forget to let the bread cool completely before you store it away.
Ingredients Sourdough Sponge for 1lb loaf
- 2 ½ fluid oz sourdough starter
- 4 tbsp water
- 3 ½ oz bread flour
- Method For Sourdough Sponge
- At least 12 hours before you want to bake, make the sourdough sponge by combining all the ingredients above. Stir and leave in a warm place.
Ingredients For 1lb Sourdough Loaf
- 5 tbsp water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- 6 ½ oz bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp yeast
Top Eggwash – optional
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tsp water mixed with the eggs
Method For Sourdough Bread
When you are ready to make the bread, put the sourdough starter and all the ingredients in the bread tin in the order suggested by your bread machine guide – basically put the yeast in first and then keep the yeast and sugar apart with the flour.
Set for dough and press start – as discussed above, you need to be watchful and add more liquid or flour as necessary.
When the dough cycle has finished, punch it down on a lightly floured board and allow to rest for a few minutes.
Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet, shape the dough into a round and place on the prepared sheet or alternatively sprinkle cornmeal into a 1lb baking tin or ceramic bowl and place into the center of that.
Now cover and let rise again for one hour.
If using the wash, combine and brush over the surface at the top of the bread.
Make two or three slashes in the top of the bread with a sharp knife and place into a pre-heated oven (190C or 375F). Bake until the top is golden brown – allow 40 to 50 minutes.
Hand Baking The Sourdough Bread?
If you are going to go the hand kneading and proving route, you might find it useful to knead the dough on a non stick silicone baking sheet, to save adding any flour to the dough. Sifting a little flour out to stop dough sticking is normal practice, however with sourdough I don’t like adding to the loaf’s density, which it will.
Slicing fresh bread can be awkward at the best of times – but not these loaves, which are dense enough not to need a bread slicing guide, just a sharp knife.
If you find the knife not gliding through the bread as swiftly and cleanly as it might, then run hot water over the blade for a few seconds, dry it and try again. They slice up for freezing best if you use a meat slicer for home use, a small deli slicer really which I find invaluable for even portions. I’m not good with knives and that’s a fact.
Enjoy and share the recipe with your friends – you can find more bread recipes here.