Quarantine and self-isolating were great for flattening the curve but generally speaking not great for much else (anxiety levels – hiiiii 👋🏻).
Except sourdough. And maybe Tiger King.
But sourdough had its moment! This delicious but time consuming baked good came back in a big way. With yeast disappearing from grocery store shelves and no promise of being restocked, people turned to the art of cultivating their own yeast in the form of sourdough starters.
We still had to basically become undercover agents to find flour (I had multiple people share their secret sources with me and honestly, THANK YOU), but once that starter was thriving you were off to the races.
I told myself I wouldn’t be that person that wrote 400 paragraphs that everyone has to begrudgingly scroll past to get to the recipe so apologies for the above, and here we go: my favourite sourdough recipe!
You’re going to need three things for this to work: a Dutch oven, a food scale, and a starter.
First things first, you need that starter. If you don’t have one, you can’t substitute dry active yeast in here. It just won’t have that sour tang that makes sourdough sourdough. Go Pinterest search a guide to making your own starter and come back here in a week when it’s ready and has a name. My starter’s name is Bonnie.
• 150 g starter
• 285 g water
• 500 g flour (I use AP, this may need to be tweaked if you use different types as they absorb the water differently. I learned that the hard way, adding whole wheat into the mix)
• 9 g salt
Squelch all of the ingredients together with your hands until it comes together. Then let it sit in a greased bowl, covered with a towel, for an hour.
Fold and stretch the dough a few times, then put back in the bowl and let sit for another hour. Fold and stretch, then let sit for an hour and repeat these steps a few times until your dough feels a bit stronger and holds together better. Each fold and stretch gives the dough more strength. Go with your gut, I usually do 3-4 fold and stretch sessions. You want it to be strong enough to hold an oval shape but not so strong it turns green and rips its shirt off.
Is the fold and stretch the sourdough equivalent of the bend and snap? Yes.
Put some parchment paper in the bottom of your Dutch oven and put it in your oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When it’s ready, pull out the Dutch oven (it’s going to be hot as hades, FYI) and place your dough (that you’ve lovingly shaped and cut shapes into, or dusted with flour over professional leaf shaped templates cause you fancy) and put the lid on. Bake for 20-25 mins, then take the lid off and bake for another 20-25 mins until the top is a golden colour.
Let your molten lava temperature bread cool, or join me in the fingerprint-less club and dig in right away; we commit crimes on Tuesdays. Serve warm with melted butter and enjoy the best thing to come out of quarantine.