What is Sourdough Bread?
Sourdough is bread made from naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria. A true sourdough is made from a starter that ferments and creates these natural yeasts, this will take at least 3 days. You use some of the starter to make your loaf then feed the remaining starter with more flour and water every two days to keep it alive.
Easy Sourdough Bread
Sourdough is a bit of an art, you need to take time and care over your starter. I really don’t have the patience to master true sourdough so I make this easy recipe which ferments overnight, uses fast action yeast and is mixed in an electric bread machine.
Can I make it without a bread machine?
You could make the bread without a bread machine, although I have not tried it and cannot comment on the result. However, it will mean you have to do more work kneading the dough. You can use a stand mixer with a dough hook or even make it in your food processor. The dough program on my bread machine is 45 minutes and at least 30 minutes of that time it is mixing.
Does it freeze?
Yes, once baked and cooled, cut slices and lay them out on a clean baking sheet. Open freeze the sliced bread, then once solid, store in a bag or box in the freezer. Defrost on a cooling tray covered with a tea towel or pop the frozen bread straight into the toaster.
What does Easy Sourdough Bread taste like?
This recipe makes a lovely crusty loaf with a mild sourdough taste. It is not like the Sourdough you buy in an Artisan baker and there are fewer large holes in the dough, however, it has more of a sourdough flavour than a classic loaf made without the overnight fermentation.
How to make Easy Sourdough Bread in the Bread Machine
Make the starter
Put the strong white flour, wholemeal flour, and fast-action yeast and water into your bread machine. Set it to the dough program and leave to mix.
Leave it overnight
Leave the mix for a minimum of 2 hours or, if you can, overnight. You can leave it in the bread machine or bring it into a warm room and cover it with a tea towel.
Add the rest of the ingredients
- Strong White Flour
- Wholemeal Flour
- Rye Flour
- Fast Action Yeast
Add these ingredients on top of the risen starter in the bread machine bowl. Start the dough program.
Let the dough rise
When the dough programme has finished, remove the dough and knock it back. Once the dough is knocked back, form it into a round and put it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave it to prove for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
How do you knock back the dough?
To knock back dough simply means to push it down to knock the air out of the air pockets. This gets the yeast working again and helps your dough to rise.
Bake the bread
When the dough has doubled in size, gently transfer it to a floured baking sheet, then slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or blade. On baking, the loaf expands, so the slashes open up. If you don’t slash the dough you may get cracks on the base of your bread. Bake in a hot oven for about 40 minutes.
Can I bake it in my bread machine?
You can bake this loaf in your bread machine but you won’t get as good a crust and the texture will be different.
To bake in your bread machine set to a baking programme when you add the second set of ingredients and let the bread machine knead and bake the dough.
Cool the bread
Once baked remove the bread from the baking sheet and place on a cooling tray. Leave until cold before cutting.
Easy Sourdough Bread in a Bread Machine slices really well, has a good crisp crust and shows some larger holes. in the dough Perhaps not as many as a classic sourdough but a pretty good loaf without a 3-day initial fermentation and on-going feeding of your starter.
Enjoy your bread with butter and jam, it also makes the most delicious toast and can be toasted from frozen.
More bread recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
Rye and Caraway is a classic combination and makes a dense and flavourful loaf.
Bola do Caco – a traditional pan-cooked bread from the Island of Madeira
Wholemeal Irish Soda Bread – a quick bread with a lovely nutty flavour.
More Bread Recipes
Ciabatta Italian Bread – The Baking Explorer
Date & Walnut Bread – Veggie Desserts
Cheesy Garlic Rolls – Feast Glorious Feast
Classic Sourdough – Lavender & Lovage
Gluten-Free Brown Pitta Bread – Only Crumbs Remain
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Easy Sourdough in the Bread Machine
For the starter
- 200 ml water
- 175 g strong white flour
- 50 g wholemeal flour
- 1/4 tsp yeast fast action
- 120 ml water
- 225 g strong white flour
- 50 g wholemeal flour
- 25 g rye flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp yeast fast action
Put the starter ingredients into the machine, put on the dough program.
Leave in the unopened machine for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight after the end of the cycle. The longer you leave it the stronger the flavour. You can transfer the pan to a warmer room if necessary and cover it with a clean tea towel.
Add the remaining ingredients
Put on the dough program.
If you wish to bake the bread in the bread machine and not the oven, then set to a baking program at this point.
When the programme is complete remove dough and knock-back, make into a round and leave to prove. for an hour until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Transfer the dough to a floured baking sheet. Slash the top of the bread with a sharp knife several times and bake for about 40 mins.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling tray until completely cold.
You can bake this bread in your bread machine, but the crust and texture will not be the same.
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