This recipe is only enough to make one small loaf and is written to be used with the sourdough starter posted here. Also, these directions are written for using a loaf pan, so I’m not sure how making a round shaped loaf will work. (If the dough is stiff enough to hold its shape, I’m guessing it would work)
1 1/4 cups filtered water
1 1/3 cups starter
4 1/2 cups flour (doesn’t have to be the same as starter; I prefer white spelt)
1 TBS salt
Pour water into a large bowl. Add starter and mix thoroughly. Add flour and mix until well combined and dough is formed. This can be done by hand or in a food processor or mixer with dough hook. The dough shouldn’t be too stiff (especially if working with spelt), so if it seems too dry, add some water, a tsp. at a time. Grease a clean bowl (I used coconut oil, but butter or olive oil will do) and place dough inside, smooth side down. Turn to oil dough and place smooth side up. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 1 hour.
At the end of 1 hour, sprinkle all the salt on top of the dough and begin to work in until salt grains can no longer be felt. Smooth dough into ball, replace in bowl, cover and set in warm place for 3 hours. (Don’t worry if you begin to see small white spots where the salt has dissolved)
At the end of 3 hours, oil small loaf pan (again, coconut oil, butter, or olive oil), shape dough into pan shape and set into pan, gently patting to adjust fit. (By small pan, I don’t mean mini-loaf, just the smallest loaf pan you have) With a sharp knife, score 3 diagonal lines (or one long one lengthwise) on the top of the loaf, making sure the dough actually separates*. Unless you want to end up with a volcanic looking loaf like my first one. Then you’d have something that looks like this:
This is how NOT to score the bread. Cuts did not separate dough on 2 of them.
Cover with a greased piece of plastic wrap and set in a warm place until it reaches the top of the pan.
*About scoring: I’ve tried scoring in the pan and just prior to putting it in the pan. I’ve found that either way I do it, I have to go back just before I bake it and gently rescore the lines, making sure the dough actually separates. These act like steam vents and if they aren’t done right, well, you see what happens above! A serrated knife works best for scoring.
At first, I set my oven racks in the middle of the oven, then filled a round cake pan at least half full with water and placed it on the bottom rack to one side. I’ve been baking without the water and don’t see any visible difference.
Preheat oven to 350*
When oven is heated, place loaf pan on top rack (opposite the cake pan side, if you’re using it). Bake 40 minutes, checking at the 30 minute mark to make sure bread isn’t turning too dark (aka burning). My first loaf was cooked 20 minutes and was definitely undone. My second loaf was cooked 30 minutes and still not quite done to my liking. My third loaf was cooked 40 minutes and was pretty good, however, ymmv (your mileage may vary) according to your tastes.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Or cut into it warm and slather lots of grass-fed butter all over it. Go on! It’s good for what ails ya!
This post is part of Fight Back Fridays on Food Renegade.