The Tangy Symphony: A Journey Through Time and Taste with Sourdough Bread

Oct 25, 2023 | Baking & Bread


Prep Time

Cooking Time

10 minutes (excluding overnight starter feeding)
About 1 hour and 10 minutes

The Tangy Symphony: Tales of a Perfectly Aged Sourdough Bread

Image of sourdough bread ingredients

There’s something magical about bread baking. The aroma fills the air, the dough dances between your fingers, and the final product is a symphony of flavors. Today, I would like to take you on a journey through time and taste, by sharing with you the recipe that my great-grandmother passed down to me: the beloved sourdough bread.

Origin Story:
Legend has it that this recipe dates back to the 1800s, during the California Gold Rush. Miners sought a hearty, long-lasting bread as they ventured into the rugged mountains, and thus, sourdough bread became a staple. This tale has a personal connection for me, as my great-grandmother, Rosie, prepared this bread for her father, who himself journeyed to seek his fortune in San Francisco. Through this recipe, I feel a deep connection to my family’s roots and a taste of history in every bite.

– 500g strong bread flour
– 325g water
– 150g active sourdough starter
– 10g salt

Image of sourdough bread being baked

Step 1: Feeding the Starter
– Begin by feeding your sourdough starter the night before baking. Combine equal parts flour and water (e.g., 50g each) with a tablespoon of active starter. Stir well, cover loosely, and let it sit at room temperature overnight.

Step 2: Building the Dough
– In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread flour, water, and mature sourdough starter.
– Mix until the ingredients are fully incorporated but avoid over-mixing.
– Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes. This autolyse period will help the gluten develop.

Step 3: Kneading and Proofing
– Sprinkle salt evenly over the dough and gently knead it for about 10 minutes. Use a technique known as the “stretch and fold” method:
a) With palms on the dough, firmly stretch one side away from you.
b) Fold it back over the middle of the dough.
c) Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the process three more times.

– After kneading, let the dough rest and rise, covered, at room temperature for about 3-4 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Step 4: Shaping and Final Proofing
– After the first rise, gently turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, being careful not to deflate it.
– Fold the dough gently onto itself from all four corners to create tension on the surface.
– Place the dough seam-side up into a well-floured proofing basket (also known as a banneton) or a bowl lined with a floured kitchen towel.
– Cover and let it proof for another 2-3 hours, or until it passes the poke test (lightly poke the dough, and if it springs back slowly but not fully, it’s ready).

Step 5: Baking
– Preheat your oven to 230°C (450°F) with a Dutch oven or a lidded baking dish inside.
– Carefully transfer the dough into the preheated pot, with the seam-side now facing down.
– Score the top of the dough with a sharp knife or razor blade to help it expand while baking.
– Cover with the lid and bake for 25 minutes.
– Remove the lid and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until the crust turns golden brown.

Step 6: The Moment of Truth
– Once baked, carefully remove the loaf from the pot and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.
– Embrace the crackling sound as you cut through the crispy crust, revealing the soft, tangy center of your sourdough loaf.

Image of sliced sourdough bread

Serving Suggestions:
Enjoy your homemade sourdough bread with lashings of melted butter, alongside steaming bowls of soup, or simply as the star of a delicious sandwich. And for an extra tangy twist, try adding ingredients like olives, sundried tomatoes, or even a touch of honey to your dough during the mixing stage.

Final Thoughts:
Baking sourdough bread is a labor of love that requires patience and dedication, just like in our ancestors’ time. As you knead, proof, and bake the dough, you become part of a timeless ritual, carrying forward a tradition that continues to nourish bodies and souls. So, grab your apron, follow the steps, and embrace the journey of baking the perfect sourdough bread.

This image can go towards the bottom of the post:

Image of sliced sourdough bread

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice (50g)

Servings Per Recipe 24

Amount Per Serving
Calories 100
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5g 1%
  Saturated Fat 0g 0%
  Trans Fat 0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 220mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
  Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
  Sugars 0g  
Protein 3g  
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% Iron 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

  Calories: 2,000 2,500
Total Fat Less than 65g 80g
  Saturated Fat Less than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300 mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
  Dietary Fiber 25g 30g
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