Simple sourdough bread with all-purpose flour is made only with all-purpose flour, water and salt and active starter. Great chewy interior with crusty top.
If you are out of the flour and not able to find anything else other than all-purpose flour and you want to make simple sourdough bread with it. Yes, here is the recipe for you made with 16-day old starter. This Simple sourdough bread with all-purpose flour is made only with all-purpose flour, water and salt.
Nowadays when you visit the grocery store flour aisle is empty and sometimes you may find unbleached all-purpose flour. Then you can make this Simple Sourdough with All-purpose flour alone. These are delicious and easy to make if you have active starter is in hand. I have made a 50:50 all-purpose and whole wheat flour starter, and I used it for this recipe. I want to bake this bread because one of my friends also asked, “you have bread recipe just with all-purpose flour”?How I made this Bread?
First, I made levain with starter, which I then added to the dough and let it bulk ferment at room temperature and shaped and baked. It took around 16 hours from start to finish. But does not use proofing in the cold temperature.
What is Levain vs Starter ?
A levain may be just a portion of your starter, and therefore the same, or it may be quite different. It can be dryer, or it can be wetter than your starter. It can have different flours, or other ingredients that you do not want in your starter. Basically, your starter is meant to be kept stable, while the levain may go through some wild changes in order to produce a particular result in the bread.
A lot of times, there is really no difference between the two. In practice, there can be, at times, huge differences. To keep it as simple as possible, the starter is the part you keep and feed and otherwise maintain. The levain happens when you take part of your starter and do something with it to make it comply with the recipe you are using. Also, a levain is sometimes made from a bit of commercial yeast added to flour and water, and could have nothing to do with a starter, although the yeast in it is doing the same job.
According to me young levain is always great to make sourdough. This will also help me to check the activity of starter. If it doubles in 5-6 hours then it is good to go into the recipe.
Timeline for making this Simple Sourdough bread with All purpose flour
Around 2.00 P.M make the levain
8.00 P.M mix the levain with dough
8.30 P.M stretch and fold the dough
9.00 P.M stretch and fold the dough
Set aside for next 12 hours at room temperature 72 ° F/ 22. 2 °C *
Next morning 9.00 A.M shape the dough and set aside for 1 hour 30 minutes
10.35 A.M Bake the bread.
*if your kitchen is warmer you can reduce the bulk fermentation time lesser than 12 hours.
Point to remember
I have tried only with unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur flour). Protein content is around 11.7%.
Keep the hydration around 67 % (means if you use 500g flour which is 100%, then water becomes 335 g water). If the dough feels too wet (and this can happen depending on the brand of flour), add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix thoroughly by hand, adding more flour as needed. If it is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water and see how you go.
One more good thing about this bread you do not need to fold the dough still it works perfect.
You need to score and transfer into the Dutch oven immediately.
Sourdough bread taste great on the day or two. You can also freeze the bread.
Bake at 475°F / 250°C for 25 minutes with lid and 450 °F / 232.2 °C for 20 minutes.
This bread makes slightly thick crust and chewy interior. Make great toast or good with soup.
Simple Sourdough Bread With All-purpose flour
- Make Levain
- 14 g Active starter I used 50: 50 all purpose flour: whole wheat flour starter
- 50 g Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 50 g Water
- 450 g Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 285 g Water
- Entire Levain
- 9 g salt
- First make levain
- Mix all the ingredients for the levain into a bowl and set aside for 6 hours.
- Make the dough
- In the evening, whisk the starter and water together in a large bowl. Add the flour and salt. Mix with a fork until a stiff dough forms, then finish by hand to fully incorporate the flour. It will feel rough and shaggy, and slightly sticky. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature (72 ° F/ 22. 2 °C *) for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes do a stretch and fold. To do this, grab a portion of the dough and fold it over, pressing your fingertips into the center. Repeat, working your way around the dough until it begins to tighten. Repeat this stretch and fold one more time.
- During this time, you can add extra flour or water if you feel the dough is wet or dry. Try adding 1 tablespoon of water and flour.
- Bulk Rise
- For bulk rise, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and set aside for rise overnight at room temperature. This will take about 10 to 12 hours at 72 ° F/ 22. 2 °C *. The dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size. You can see bubbles(activity) through the dough.
- Shape the Dough
- Next morning when you ready to shape the dough. Line a colander/banneton with a tea towel or cotton cloth and sprinkle with flour
- You need to two shaping first is preshape then final shape.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place it onto a lightly floured surface. To shape the dough into a round, start at the top, gently fold the dough over toward the center. Give it a turn and fold over the next section. Repeat until you have come full circle. Using a bench knife, scoop up the dough and flip it over (the smooth side should be facing up). Cover and rest for 25-30 minutes.
- Final Shape
- Once the dough is rested flip it over again and repeat the shaping as you did in the pre-shape.
- With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you in a circular motion to tighten its shape.
- Place the dough into the lined bowl, seam side up. Cover the dough with the cloth overhang.
- Second Rise
- The dough needs to rise again. Rest for 1 to 1 30 hours. The dough is ready when it looks puffy and has risen slightly but has not yet doubled in size. If you poke the dough it will springs back immediately.
- Preheat your oven to 475°F. Cut a sheet of non-stick parchment paper to fit the size of your baking pot( you can use Dutch oven, cast iron pot) , leaving enough excess around the sides to remove the bread.
- Score the Dough
- Place the dough on parchment sprinkled with cornmeal by inverting the banneton. Sprinkle the dough with flour and gently pat the surface with your hands. Using the tip of a bread lame, small, serrated knife or a razor blade, make four shallow 4-inch long cuts at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock around the dough. Use the parchment paper to transfer the dough to the baking pot.
- Bake the Dough
- Bake at 475°F / 250°C for 25 minutes with lid. Then reduce the temperature to 450 °F / 232.2 °C and bake for 20 minutes or until is golden brown.
- When finished, transfer to a wire rack. Cool for 3-4 hour before slicing for best texture.
- Enjoy with soup or simple dipping olive oil.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.