How To Make Sourdough Bread By Your Self

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About This Recipe

This recipe is a modified version of the Tartine bread recipe that Chad Robertson shares in his books Tartine Bread and Tartine No. 3. In my time as a home baker, I’ve gone back to Chad’s master recipe and the variations in these books again and again. It makes a very wet dough, which might feel unfamiliar to you at first, but it’s actually quite easy to work with. The tradeoff to the extra moisture is a really gorgeous crust and a chewy, well-developed crumb.

I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe, which I feel makes the recipe a little more approachable for us home bakers. Chad’s recipes make two enormous rounds of bread, so I’ve scaled back this recipe to more human-sized loaves. I also modified the amount of leaven created so the full amount is used in the bread (Chad’s original recipe has you discard a portion, which always just seemed wasteful to me). If you’ve made the Tartine bread recipe before, you’ll notice a few other modifications here and there.

I also want to encourage you to use this recipe as a jumping-off point. I made it with straight all-purpose or bread flour here, but you can swap in some whole-wheat flour or other whole-grain flour without needing to adjust the recipe. You can also add things like nuts or dried fruit, or experiment with folding in some cooked grains, like quinoa or steel-cut oats.

 

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

 

For many of us home bakers, making a good loaf of sourdough bread feels like striving for the World Cup or an Olympic gold medal. It’s the challenge to top all challenges and takes real commitment, but it’s also something that’s completely achievable.

Are you ready to take on the challenge of a true sourdough bread? If so — or even if you’re just curious to see what the fuss is about.

 

 

  1. Make sure your sourdough culture is active: If your sourdough has been in the fridge, take it out 2 to 3 days before you plan to bake. Feed it daily to make sure it’s strong and very active before you make the bread.