Why yes, I did make a sourdough starter and learned how to make sourdough bread in quarantine. I’m actually quite proud of it and now that I’ve mastered my recipe, I truly enjoy making bread each week for ourselves and friends.
Before learning how to make the starter, I was quite intimidated with the process. I had read so many things about what your starter should look like, how it should behave, etc., and it felt like having a newborn… on top of having a newborn. So I started it with flour and water and fed it daily for weeks. I kept waiting for the starter to be bubbly before attempting to make the bread, but it never happened.
After a couple of months, I finally decided to try. I ordered a dutch oven and found a bread recipe that was easy for beginners. The first couple of rounds yielded very dense loafs. They weren’t bad by any means, but not airy like I was used to. I continued to experiment with the amount of water and flour and finally figured out my formula.
I will note that I don’t use a digital scale to measure, so that likely prolonged my trial and error period, but now I’ve got it down using measuring cups. I’m sharing my recipe below along with tips for your sourdough starter.
My Sourdough Bread Recipe
My base recipe came from this no-knead sourdough bread recipe from Feasting at Home. The article is a wealth of information on how to shape your dough and even offers a schedule for the entire process. What I love about this recipe is that it proofs overnight, so I start the dough at about 8 p.m. and it’s ready for baking the next morning.
Jump down to recipe
- The bubbly part of your starter will happen about 4-6 hours after you feed it! It shouldn’t be bubbly and ‘alive’ all the time. But it doesn’t matter what your starter looks like, as long as it works. Some will be a lot more active than others depending on the types of bread you use, water, temperature, etc.
- My starter thrives in a warm place, near my toaster oven.
- When I am not using my starter, I store it in the fridge and feed it once a week.
Purple Sweet Potato Sourdough Bread
One of my favorite breads is a purple sweet potato and sesame flavor that my friend turned me on to. I tried to recreate it. It’s not exact but I’ll get there with some more experimentation. For this flavor, I peeled and diced up a purple sweet potato. In a pot of boiling water, I put the diced cubes in and boiled for 10 or so minutes until they were soft and could be mashed.
After combining the starter and flour, I add about a ½ cup of the smashed sweet potato to the mixture and 1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil. Then continue on with the recipe as normal.
If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out!