My ultimate sourdough bread recipe

sourdough bread daily recipe

I have tried a number of sourdough bread recipes with success (sometimes more, sometimes less success) and the thing I noticed, is that all have some degree of flexibility to meet the characteristics of our starter, our time to make bread, our know how, and our nutritional and flavor goals.

My starter goes especially well with a recipe that was adapted from a set of other recipes. A step from one, a different time from other one, a particular proportion of ingredients, etc. In the end I found myself with a very distinctive recipe and procedure that I recommend you try. But again, it is the recipe that works best for me, which can vary greatly from person to person. I confess that it was enough to do it in another place and at a different time of year to have different results. But with a few adjustments, by the second time, I got my usual sourdough bread.

With these particularities aside, the recipe itself is very simple. It requires a bit of planning and is a bit time consuming, as are all sourdough bread recipes (that’s part of it: if you want a super quick bread, you don’t want to venture into sourdough, it’s as simple as that!) But it’s actually a recipe made up of short, simple steps interspersed with waiting times, and it works every single time. Overall it’s very rewarding and, surprise surprise: no kneading required!

sourdough bread daily recipe
sourdough bread daily recipe
sourdough bread daily recipe

Get ready!

The planning part is actually very simple: we have to have an active starter to begin. That forces us to feed our starter about 8-12 hours before we start making sourdough bread. Depending on the temperature conditions, the flour used in the feeding, etc somewhere during this period of time the starter will grow and start to shrink. This is when it is active and ready to be used. 

Mix and rise

To start making this sourdough bread simply add all the ingredients in a bowl except the salt. Mix until uniform and let it rest for 30 min. Add the salt by wrapping it in the dough with a series of “stretch and fold. That means stretch the dough with one hand, fold it over on itself, turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the process about 10 times. Let it rest for 30 min. Repeat the “stretch and fold” series and rest time another 3-4 times, every 30 min.

Shape the sourdough bread for the final rising. Place the dough on a smooth surface dusted with flour. Stretch the dough a little with your fingers to form a rectangle, circle or square and fold the corners over the center to form a ball. Turn the “seam” formed by the corners downward. Bring the loaf towards you by dragging the dough with your hands or with the help of a spatula. Repeat until the surface of the dough is very smooth and small bubbles start to appear. In a bowl lined with a clean cloth dusted with flour (you can use a banneton) place the dough with the “seam” facing up and cover it with the edges of the cloth. Let rise about 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Bake

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius. Chose the baking pan you will use and place it in the oven: it can be a “pyrex” pan, a “dutch oven” or a simple tray. If you use a tray, I advise you to add a container of water underneath to create steam inside the oven. Pyrex pans or the dutch oven don’t need it because they can be covered with the lid to trap the steam from the dough.

Turn the dough with the seam side down onto a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with a little flour and, using a razor blade or a very, very sharp knife, score the dough. Scoring is making cuts in the surface of the dough that allow for steam to release and growth during baking. I recommend making a long, deep cut (1 cm deep) and, if you wish, other shallow decorative cuts.

With the help of the baking paper place your dough immediately in the oven, inside the pans (don’t forget to put the lid on) or on the tray. Lower the oven temperature to 195-200 degrees.

Bake your sourdough bread covered (or with the water container if you are baking on a tray) for about 30 minutes. After this period the bread should have risen almost completely. Remove the lid from the pan or your container of water and bake until the sourdough bread is golden brown (about 20-30 min). Remove the bread from the oven and let cool. When removing it from the oven, the base of the sourdough bread should be firm and have a hollow sound when tapped with the hand.

sourdough bread daily recipe
sourdough bread daily recipe
sourdough bread daily recipe

Timings

Now I share my favorite timings for making this bread! On friday morning, before going to work I feed my starter (if I have kept it inactive in the fridge I try to reactivate it a few days earlier). When I get home, while I’m making, eating and packing up dinner, I put the ingredients together and do the stretch and fold sessions every 30 minutes. Then, before sleep I shape my sourdough bread for the final rising and leave it to rise overnight in the refrigerator. 

On Saturday morning I score my sourdough bread immediately after taking the dough out of the refrigerator (the dough is firmer and the blade works much better!) and bake the bread in a very hot oven!

Check the image below for the full recipe.

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Framing two sleepy lions

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Os meus leões adormecidos já têm destino!

 
Queria oferecê-los às minhas duas afilhadas mas fiquei indecisa sobre a melhor forma de os emoldurar. Encaixilhar, só mesmo sem vidro, para que o efeito da punch needle não se perdesse. Contudo achei que lhes dava um carácter mais sério do que eu pretendia para duas pequenas princesas. Pensei em fazer uma pequena almofada com cada um, acrescentando um tecido colorido para a parte de trás. Mas, apesar de uma almofada com punch needle me parecer uma ideia espectacular, com apenas 10 cm de diâmetro creio que os meus leões perderiam todo impacto numa almofada minúscula sem objectivo nenhum.

Depois de algumas ideias acabei por ceder à delicadeza dos bastidores porque me parece uma forma mais leve de enquadrar um trabalho são jovial e descontraído. Por isso comprei dois pequenos bastidores de madeira com o mesmo tamanho e apliquei-lhes os leões como se fosse bordar. Pelo verso, cortei o excesso de tecido deixando apenas o suficiente para o prender pela parte de trás do bastidor fixando-o. Depois pespontei, a uns 5mm da extremidade, a toda a volta e puxei o excesso de fio de forma a que a berma ficasse esticada pela parte de trás. Podia ter tapado o verso e a berma com outro tecido mas confesso que não tenho nada contra os versos dos bordados e até gosto de os ver (embora não de os analisar).

 

Acrescentei uma fita e agora estão prontos para oferecer. O bastidor é tão leve que pode ser pendurado nos mais diversos locais: janelas, puxadores, portas, enfim, onde quisermos. E mesmo que o queiramos colocar na parede não precisamos de nos comprometer com um furo: basta uma pequena tira de washi tape para o segurar!
 

 

My two sleepy lions have a home!

I wanted to offer them to my two sweet godchildren, but I was undecided on the best way to frame them. To use a regular frame I must do it without any glass, so that the punch needle effect is not lost. However, I thought it gave the lions a more serious character than I intended. I thought about making a small pillow with each one, adding a colorful fabric to the back. But despite the fact that a punch needle cushion seems like a spectacular idea, having only 10 cm in diameter, I believe that my lions would lose all impact in a tiny cushion with no purpose.

After some research I ended up going for the delicacy of the embroidery hoops because it seems to me a lighter way to frame a light little work. So I bought two small wooden embroidery hoops of the same size and applied the lions to them as if I was going to embroider. From the back, I cut off the excess fabric leaving just enough to secure it to the back of the frame and fix it. Then I stitched all around about 5mm from the edge, and pulled the excess thread so that the fabric was stretched from the back. I could have covered the back with another fabric but, I must confess, that I have nothing against the back of embroidery work and I even like to see it (not analysing it).

I added a ribbon and now these two sleepy lions are ready to offer. The framing is so light that it can be hung in different places: windows, handles, doors, wherever we want! And even if we want to put it on the wall, we don’t need to commit to a hole: just use a small strip of washi tape to hold it!

 

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Low plastic snacks for the everyday

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A propósito da minha nova aventura de redução do plástico, a MyNinho convidou-me para fazer mais um workshop, e desta vez, sobre Snacks Zero Plástico: snacks para levar para todo o lado, sem embalagem de plástico.

Entre as receitas que vou ensinar estão os segredos das minhas saborosas barritas de cereais e frutos secos! Uma grande vantagem das opções sem plástico é que nos permite controlar melhor as quantidades que ingerimos adaptando-as ao nosso organismo, escolher os ingredientes que queremos usar e ser conscientes sobre a sua embalagem, evitando o plástico e obrigando-nos a ser criativos.

Vem partilhar connosco as receitas, as ideias de embalagem e formas de tornar mais atraentes os snacks saudáveis para nos e para o ambiente.

O workshop será no próximo dia 23 de fevereiro no MyNinho e as inscrições já estão abertas!

With my new adventure of reducing plastic in mind, MyNinho invited me to do another workshop, and this time I will share everything about Zero Plastic Snacks: snacks to take everywhere, without plastic packaging.

Among the recipes I am going to teach are all the secrets of my tasty cereal and nut bars! A great advantage of the options without plastic is that it allows us to better control the quantities that we ingest by adapting them to our organism, to choose the ingredients that we want to use and to be conscious about its packaging, avoiding the plastic and forcing us to be creative.
Come share with us the recipes, packaging ideas and ways to make healthy snacks more appealing to us and the environment.
The workshop will be on February 23 at MyNinho and the registrations are now open!
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Workshop on… small goals!

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Como vos falei no último post, este fim de semana liderei um workshop sobre coroas de Natal feitas à mão com materiais naturais no MyNinho, da Ana Paula.

 

Devo dizer que estava receosa porque não sabia o que eu poderia ter para oferecer… tudo o que faço aqui aprendi de forma autodidata e não me considero especialista em nada. A única coisa em que me tornei especialista foi em colocar mãos à obra e em gerir bem os projectos em que me envolvo.

 

Ouço vezes sem conta as pessoas dizerem “não tenho jeito”, “não sei fazer” e fico a pensar se este dom que tenho seja um talento e não mais do que isso. Mas é então que olho para trás e começo a refletir no caminho que fiz até agora: este blog é, sem sombra de dúvidas, o repositório das minhas evoluções, dos meus progressos naqueles que são os projectos em que eu não sou, de todo, especialista. Isto de “ter jeito” é algo que requer alguma sensibilidade é certo, mas muito do que está por trás do sucesso é a versão mais genuína do trabalho: a prática, o empenho e a dedicação. Se muitas vezes achamos que no nosso meio profissional as coisas não são tão literais, se eu pensar nos pequenos e grandes projetos que fiz aqui, convosco, a maior parte das vezes a regras do jogo são sempre as mesmas: 99% de transpiração e 1% de inspiração. A inspiração pode, porém ser determinante no trabalho e parecer 200%, enquanto os 99% de transpiração envolvem alguma organização e gestão que, se bem conduzida e prazerosa, nos parece apenas 2%. Qualquer um de nós se sente esmagado por um grande projecto no qual não tem qualquer experiência. Mais ainda se ele requer algum investimento a diversos níveis. O primeiro instinto é dizer precisamente que não temos jeito. Isso acontece porque estamos a sair da nossa zona de conforto! Mas não há nada que não se faça: basta transferir a energia envolvida nesse receio todo em dividir o desafio em pequenas metas e depois fazer uma de cada vez, tal como um bebé que aprende a caminhar.

 

Ora neste workshop, mais do que fazer uma série de coroas de Natal (e outras nem tanto…) o importante para mim foi passar esta mensagem às minhas queridas “alunas”: procurar inspiração, desconstruir o projecto em partes e por fim em materiais. Uma espécie de engenharia inversa que torna qualquer grande desafio em simples metas alinhadas como um colar de contas. Foi um grande prazer para mim, gostava muito de voltar a ensinar workshops!

 

As I told you in the last post, this weekend I led a workshop on handmade Christmas wreaths made with natural materials, in Ana Paula’s MyNinho.

 

I must say: I was afraid of the challenge because I did not know what I could have to offer… everything I do here I learned in a self-taught way and I do not consider myself an expert at anything. The only thing I have become a specialist in is putting my hands to work and managing well the projects in which I am involved.

 

I often hear people say “I can’t do this”, “I do not know how” and I wonder if this gift I have is a talent and not more than that. But it is then that I look back and start to reflect on the path I have taken so far: this blog is, without a doubt, the repository of my evolutions, my progress in those projects that I am not, at all, a specialist. This “know how” is something that requires some sensitivity, for sure, but much of what is behind success is the most genuine version of work: practice, commitment and dedication. While we often find that in our professional environment things are not so literal, if I think about the small and big projects I have done here, with you, most of the times the rules of the game are always the same: 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. Inspiration can, however, be so decisive that seem like having 200% impact, while 99% perspiration can be so enjoyable that seems to us only 2% of the pack. Everyone feels crushed by a major project in which we have no experience. Even more if it requires some investment at various levels. The first instinct is to say precisely that we can’t do it. This is because we are coming out of our comfort zone! But there is nothing that can not be done: just transfer the energy involved in this fear into splitting the challenge into small goals and then go into one at a time, just like a baby who learns how to walk.

 

Well, during this workshop, more than making a number of Christmas wreaths (and some not so much christmas…), the important thing for me was to pass this message on to my beloved “students”: to seek inspiration, to deconstruct the project in parts and finally in materials. A kind of “reverse engineering” that turns any big challenge into simple goals aligned like a beaded necklace. It was a great pleasure for me, I really enjoyed teaching and hope to teach workshops again!
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