Sourdough Bread for Beginners

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However history may define its beginnings, there’s no denying the impact of this holy grail in the bread world.

For one, it’s healthier than other bread types because of its fermented quality. Food fares that involve this process are said to have an extra layer of wholesomeness, since it is proven to make nutrient absorption all the more effective.

The thing with sourdough is that it’s very forgiving but requires a lot of understanding on the dough’s needs. The process is actually customizable, but requires a whole lot of patience as it can’t be done effectively by way of shortcuts. It would take days to prep and bake. But trust us when we say you’ll reap the rewards later.

The good news? It could be easily replicated by home cooks. We gave Richie Manapat of Toyo Eatery a visit to show you the ways of sourdough bread.

Sourdough Bread for Beginners Screen Shot 2019 11 11 at 3
Sourdough Bread for Beginners

It’s important to prepare the sourdough starter first, and it’s not rocket science either. all you really need is some good flour and water to cultivate the wild yeast that can be used for baking. combine both and let it sit for a few days until frothy and billowy.

Chef Richie notes that it’s important to constantly feed the starter with rye or whole wheat 12 hours before planning to make the dough.

Lay out the following ingredients on a tabletop: flour, water, sourdough starter, and salt. Chef Richie suggests that it’s best to use some water to wash down the starter container in order to get as much of the starter remnants.

While making a circular motion within the well, slowly pour the water in. don’t incorporate too much flour at a time to make the hand mix easy.

Place the flour in a container large enough to hold 4 times its volume. then make a well in the center. Once all the water has been poured in, start folding the dough in a clockwise motion, then pinch the dough to get rid of dry spots. Once no bits of dry flour are left, leave it to rest for 20 minutes.

Autolyse, this process should make the dough sticky and stretchy as compared to when it was first mixed. Move the dough onto the tabletop to dimple. Incorporate the salt in a slapping or folding motion for multiple times.

Bulk fermentation is a process that includes a folding process for a total of 1.5 hours with 30-minute interval rests in between. Cover the dough with plastic and place it overnight in a chiller.

Divide and pre-shape as you wish. Rest for 30 minutes. When dividing, you can tweak it into 3 more or less even loaves, or roughly 600 grams. Shape as desired and place them into a slightly larger but similar-sized round or oblong container lined with medical hairnet and flour, keeping the seam side up.

Leave to rise for an hour for 2 and a half hours. Preheat your oven to 230°c. When ready, carefully take out the tray and dust with coarse flour or ground brown rice. Tip the dough onto the dusted area. Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or a stainless steel razor.

Once you place the tray back into the oven, you can use a spray and moisten the air around the loaf. Leave for 15 minutes, then open the door, rotate the loaf forward to back. then leave for around 30 minutes.

Words by Arrah Balucating
Photography by Tarish Zamora
Special thanks to Richie Manapat of Toyo Eatery

This article was originally published in the December 2017 – January 2018 issue of Breakfast Magazine.