When the quarantine sourdough craze hit, I was lukewarm to the idea of starting and then having to maintain a starter. But good thing there’s two of us and my more trendy half decided to give it a whirl. Out came Felicia’s new quarantine pet named (quaren)Tina. Since Felicia moved to Houston, Texas for residency, I inherited Tina and now it’s become a weekly treat for me to make myself some fresh sourdough bread. Disclaimer: the following recipe is not for making the most artisan loaf, hence no banneton required. In fact, during quarantine, our grocery stores ran out of bread flour and that’s how the substitute of all-purpose flour plus extra gluten came about. The dough doesn’t firm up as much as I’ve seen in other tutorials and so I don’t even bother with the usual “preshape” step. Nonetheless, with a few tweaks to the standard artisan recipe, we got ourselves the perfect chewy, yet soft bread to pair with any soup!
Makes 1 9×5 in loaf (about 8 slices or 4 servings)
- 120g mature, active starter*
- 215g water, room temperature
- 300g all purpose flour
- 5g gluten
- 4g salt
*Feed your starter the night before you intend to use it and leave it at room temperature to double overnight.
For some general reference, I’d recommend watching this vid.
- In a large bowl, mix together the starter and water. Then add the flour and gluten on top. Using chopsticks, carefully mix the gluten into the flour without disturbing the liquid layer yet. Once you’ve mixed the gluten into the flour, mix all the ingredients together just until no dry flour remains (note: dough will be quite sticky). Switch to a rubber spatula and scrap down the sides of the bowl and underneath the dough to fully mix the dough. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough autolyse for 60 minutes (the experts say it promotes dough extensibility aka stretchiness).
- Add the salt and knead it into the dough (you may notice the addition of salt cause a tightening of the dough- that’s the gluten developing the dough’s elasticity!).
- Using the stretch and fold technique, stretch and fold the dough 8 times. Then allow the dough to rest covered for 60 minutes. Repeat two more times.
- Other recipes will call for a pre-shape step. My dough is always too wet/soft to really pre-shape into anything so I skip this step.
- Lightly oil and flour a 9×5 in loaf pan. Transfer the dough into the prepared pan and let the dough do a final rise covered for 3-4 hours or until it fills the loaf pan.
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow upon tapping. Let cool before slicing.