Sourdough bread is a such a classic. The long rise allows for breakdown of gluten and makes the finished product taste and smell delicious, while being much more bioavailable than modern breads made with isolated yeast. Here’s one of my favorite recipes – a light, spongy classic loaf of sourdough bread.
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This post is so long overdue.
This recipe is hands down the one I get asked for most often. And for good reason!
Sourdough bread is healthier
Because two things:
- No isolated yeast is used to get a rise. All the leavening happens by way of the wild yeast trapped in your sourdough starter, which is completely natural. This means the entire bread recipe can be made with God-given ingredients. This is how they made bread wayyyy back in the day.
- The enzymes released during the fermentation process with sourdough bread pre-digest the flour and make all the micronutrients available to us. So yes, that includes gluten – a batch of sourdough bread that’s proved for 24 hours+ is almost completely gluten free.
read more about sourdough in this post..
Plus, there’s something special about making bread the old fashioned way. The way the women of the Bible made it. I feel connected to all the mothers through history before the age of chemistry in this little thing I do for my family.
Plus, (last thing). IT IS DELICIOUS. You all know I love food.
So let’s move on to the recipe. It starts like this
Whisk together 1 cup warm water, 1 cup warm milk, 1 cup fed sourdough starter (fed within the last 8 hours and bubbly), 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup EVOO, and 2t salt to a big mixing bowl or stand mixer and whisk until combined.
Now it’s time to add flour
I’ve used so many flours in my day. Take your pick. Einkorn is a wonderful ancient grain option that is probably the healthiest. Whole wheat is great, and this here is Great River White AP bread flour that I buy in bulk on Amazon.
Add about 6 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time to make sure you don’t add too much. You may use a bit more, or a bit less depending on the type of flour you use. You want to end up with a dough ball that’s workable, but still a bit sticky. If you like your bread very firm, add more flour so it’s not sticky. I like mine a bit spongy and not so dense.
When my dough looks something like this, I turn it out onto the counter and give it just a touch of kneading to gather all the loose flour into the ball of dough. But you do NOT want to knead a bunch just yet. Just get it to come together.
Like this. A neat ball of dough that holds its shape and doesn’t fall flat, but still a bit sticky to the touch. (If your dough doesn’t hold its shape on the counter, add more flour 1/4 cup at a time and knead in until it does and remember you can add more flour for a more structured loaf) Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Then after the rest, knead it just enough to get a smooth, stretchy consistency thats even all the way through, maybe a minute or too.
After the rest and the knead, oil your same bowl you used to mix the dough and place the dough inside. Cover with a damp tea towel.
Now, we begin the first rise
Set the covered dough aside and let it rise on the countertop for anywhere from 12-36 hours, or until doubled in size. During the summer months we keep our house warmer, so my dough doubles after only 12-18 hours. But in the winter we keep the house cooler and it takes 24-36. Just watch it for a good rise.
After the first rise,
punch the dough down, then turn it out onto a floured surface. Divide it into 3 equal portions, then shape each into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan for the second rise.
Once the loaves are shaped and placed in the loaf pan
cover them and let them rise at room temp for another 6-12 hours, or until doubled in size.
Now, it’s time to bake!
Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 30 minutes. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack for at least a half hour before slicing and serving.
My sourdough bread lasts much longer stored at room temp than my quick rise bread. I’ve never tested it longer than a week, because we always eat it before then. But it has lasted up to a week stored in an airtight container at room temp.
It can also be refrigerated to stretch that window of freshness.
And, it can be frozen for later. I freeze bread fairly often.
Sourdough Amish Bread
- 1 cup warm water no warmer than 105°F
- 1 cup warm milk no warmer than 105°F, I use raw milk
- 1 cup fed sourdough starter fed within the last 8-12 hours, doubled and bubbly
- ½ cup honey I use raw
- ½ cup EVOO melted coconut oil or avocado oil will work too
- 2 t sea salt
- 6 cups flour I mostly use White AP bread flour or Einkorn
- Combine warm water, warm milk, fed starter, honey, EVOO, and salt in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until combined
- Work in flour 1 cup at a time until the dough forms into a ball that's just a bit sticky to the touch
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, ensure all the flour is worked in, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes
- After the rest, knead the dough until it becomes more smooth and stretchy
- Oil the bowl you used in steps 1 & 2 and return the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, or 12-36 hours depending on the temperature in your home
- Punch the dough down, remove it from the bowl, cut it into 3 equal portions, and shape into loaves
- Then place into a greased loaf pan, cover, and let rise for 6-12 hours or until doubled in size
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
- Allow bread to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing with a bread knife to serve