It's time to make a delicious homemade bread, so let's try with a sourdough bread recipe! If you're planning to make your own sourdough, be sure to know that you'll need up to 16 days in order to get a good one, having to refeed it continuously once a day for 14 days after the first fermentation.
In this case, what you do need is 9 oz of strong flour to be mixed with 4.5-5 oz of water. As a starter to speed up the fermentation, you can use the water where you soaked raisins or ripe fruit, then add a bit of low-fat yogurt or, better, a spoon of not pasteurized honey and a bit of olive oil. After the first 48 hour of fermentation (maintaining the temperature at approximately 78°F to 82°F), you need to refeed the sourdough with daily refreshments of the starter, adding other 7 oz of flour and 3.5 oz of water. You can also start with less flour and water, just keep the same proportion.
In case you're willing to use an already-made sourdough, then you're ready to start! Preparation time is about 15 minutes, while you need between 4 to 5 hours, even 48 hours depending on the recipe, to fully bake the bread, suitable for a maximum of four people.
Sourdough Bread Recipe Ingredients
Step 1: Dissolve the sourdough in warm water (just a little amount to make a creamy sauce). Put the flour on a work surface. Remove 4/5 tablespoons of flour. Make a little hole in the center of the remaining flour, put the sugar inside the hole together with the sourdough. If you use a mixer, put the ingredients in the mixer bowl in the same order.
Step 2: Proceed with the dough by adding water until everything is well blended. Then add the remaining flour with the salt. If necessary, add more water or flour. The result should be a very homogeneous mix that you'll leave to rise in a lightly oiled pan or floured basket, after practicing a cross cut on the surface.
Step 3: Cover the bread with a plastic wrap and a cotton or linen cloth. Insert the bread in the oven and leave it to rise for 3/4 hours. In winter, switch the light of the oven on to keep it warmer.
Step 4: Finally, take the bread out, heat the oven to maximum temperature. Put a pot with some water inside, just in case your oven doesn't close tight. When the oven is hot enough, put the bread inside, spray warm water all over, close the oven and lower the temperature to 430° F. Bake in 15-20 minutes at the same temperature.
Step 5: If you want the crust thicker and crispy, after 20 minutes open the oven for few seconds to let the steam come out. Repeat every while, more often next to the end of cooking. Lower the temperature to 400° F, and keep cooking for other 30/40 minutes. The bread is cooked when, pierced with a toothpick, the toothpick remains clean when pulled.
Your sourdough bread recipe is completed! This is a good way to start making homemade bread on your own, that you can fill with some other ingredients to create new experiments.