The Ultimate Sourdough Bread Recipe
You may be asking, “What do I do with this slop you have me growing on my counter?”
Or, if you are me, you are asking, “Why did I think The Hunger Games would somehow not be about kids killing kids and that I would enjoy my two hours plus in the movie theater instead of sitting there with my head between my legs trying not to throw up the whole time?”
I am such a wuss. I know everyone loved it, but not me. Between the plot and the shaky camera work, I was positively green most of the night.
But you know what’s not green? Your sourdough starter.
It’s okay if you haven’t made your starter yet. I have something for you too.
Because the only thing more delicious than crusty, warm sourdough bread is a bowl of a good and garlicky olive oil dip to dunk it in.
Gigi, the queen of peanut butter sandwiches, now has me packing little containers of bread and garlic olive oil in her lunch.
If you think she’s the stinkiest first-grader in the school, you don’t know many first-graders.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, the bread!
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Makes 1 baguette
- up to 1 t. active dry yeast (optional)
- 1/2 c. non-dairy or organic milk (heated to between 90 and 110 degrees)
- 1 1/2 T. honey or maple syrup
- 1 1/3 c. white whole wheat flour + up to an additional 1/3 c. for kneading
- 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 t. salt
- 1 T. softened grass-fed butter, coconut or olive oil
- 3/4 c. sourdough starter
So here’s the deal: with a fully developed sourdough starter, you’re not supposed to need active dry yeast. That’s kind of the point.
However, I went through at least four loaves and a lot of starter trying to make a decent loaf of bread without any added yeast and every time my loaves ended up dense and gummy.
Sourdough takes a long time to rise without using active dry yeast, anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. I just like to speed the process along by adding a little yeast. You can add a pinch or up to a teaspoon. Or you can add none, if you feel like being chancey.
Either way, combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl by hand or using your stand mixer and your dough hook attachment.
If using a stand mixer, while mixing, add additional flour as needed a little at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but is still a little sticky. Continue to knead using dough hook for about 10 minutes or until smooth, adding flour as needed.
If making by hand, remove dough and place on a well-floured surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until smooth, adding more flour to your surface as needed.
Place dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Put bowl in a warm spot and allow dough to rise until it has doubled. Again, depending on the activity level of your starter and the amount of active dry east used this could take a couple hours or most of the day. I find about 4 hours is the average for my dough when I’ve added yeast.
Once your dough has risen, punch it down and allow it to sit for an additional 15 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
On a lightly greased baking sheet, shape your dough into a baguette shape.
Use the end of a spoon or utensil to make impressions in the bread, if you are into aesthetics. Who isn’t?
Bake loaves for 27-30 minutes, until bread has risen and outside is golden brown.
Allow to cool before slicing.
Or throwing a loaf to a hungry Katniss. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
While this bread is delicious straight-up or a shmear of butter, it’s over-the-top dipped in a little makeshift olive oil dip. In or out of your lunch box.
Olive Oil Bread Dip
Makes 4 servings
- 1/4 c. garlic-infused olive oil
- 1 t. dried basil
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1 T + 1 t. grated organic parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
- 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- sea salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Transfer into individual serving dishes alongside hot bread.
This dip, like The Hunger Games, is not for the faint of heart.
But you’ll also need a bulk-sized tin of breath mints after this.
However, it’s totally worth it.
For you bread bakers, keep feeding your starter (as instructed here) at least once a week. I’ve got some muffins on the horizon.
But probably not another Hunger Games movie.