Most AMazing Water Kefir Leavened Sourdough Bread!
Woah! It’s been 3 months of delicious water kefir sourdough bread! Yay! Every loaf I’ve made has been a success. Here are some quick tips to make sourdoughs easier for you:
1) Retard the sourdough by putting it in the fridge after each step to slow down the fermentation process. This way you can make bread on your own schedule and you’ll end up with a tastier loaf anyway.
2) Feed the starter every 2 weeks to a month. I didn’t feed the starter for a month and was able to make the best bread with it. Yay!
Without further ado, the easiest, tastiest sourdough bread recipe ever! Key ingredient is water kefir. Water kefir is a top notch symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast that was always meant to ferment flour. This is the easiest tastiest sourdough “pet” you’ll ever take care of. Once you get the anaerobic starter going, you just leave it in the fridge and feed it about every two weeks. The starter takes about 1 - 2 days to make, but once it's done, making bread takes only a day. Woah. Let’s get into it!
DAY 1: The Seed Culture
1 cup (4.25 oz) Spelt flour or any whole grain flour
3/4 cup (6 oz) water kefir
1) In a small bowl combine flour and water into a stiff ball of dough. Press the piece of dough into a 32 oz mason jar and seal with a lid. Let it ferment at room temp for for 12 to 24 hours. Once it doubles in size place in the fridge. This starter doesn't require air, as the culture basically comes prepackaged in the water kefir.
DAY 2 : THE BARM/STARTER
3.5 cups (16 oz) Spelt flour
2 cups (16 oz) water kefir
1 cup (7 oz) starter
1) In a small bowl, Combine Day 1 seed culture with DAY 2 BARM INGREDIENTS and shape into a stiff ball.
2) Place in a large bowl, seal with plastic wrap and let the barm ferment at room temp for 6 HOURS or so until it doubles in size. (Make sure there is enough room in the bowl for the dough to double in size.) Place in the fridge after it doubles.
CONGRATULATIONS! If all went well you should have a lively sourdough starter you can feed and make delicious sourdough bread with! Transfer to a big, clean mason jar and say good night to your new hungry little pet. Tighten the lid and place in the fridge.
Feed the starter at least about every two to three weeks. When it gets down to 1 cups worth, feed it for sure so you have starter to use in the future. To feed it, just double the proportions of equal parts flour and water.
For example, if the barm weighed 1 pound and you wanted to double it, add 8 oz flour, (1 3/4 cups) and 8 oz (1 cup) water kefir. Using a scale is best for making bread or any rad kind of fermentions. ;)
This batch of starter should be enough for about 3 - 4 loaves of bread, so you won't have to make starter again for a while.
Note: Depending on what kind of water kefir you use to feed the starter/barm, remember that this flavor profile will be quite muted when more flour and water is added. The bread will have a subtle "je ne sais quoi" that will make your mouth drool. So have fun experimenting with whatever water kefir you use!
DAY 3 : WATER KEFIR LEAVENED SOURDOUGH BREAD RECIPE
2/3 cup (4 oz) Spelt barm
1 cup (4.5 oz) Unbleached All-purpose Flour
1/4 cup (2 oz) Room temp. water
FEEL FREE TO EXPERIMENT WITH WHOLE GRAIN FLOURS, IF USING WHOLE GRAIN FLOUR, USE JUST A LITTLE MORE TO MAKE UP FOR THE DIFFERENCE IN WEIGHT.
1) In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, water and starter and shape into a ball.
2) Dust a cutting board with flour, and knead the boule on the cutting for about 10 minutes until thoroughly mixed.
3) Shape into a boule, lightly oil a bowl and the dough boule. Place the boule into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let ferment for 6 hours or so until it doubles in size. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
4.25 cups (18 oz) unbleached flour
2 cups (16 oz) FIRM STARTER
2 Tsp salt
1.5 cups (12 oz) water
1) In a large bowl, combine flour, water, salt and the firm starter. Dust a cutting board and knead dough until well mixed for 10 or more minutes. Shape into a boule.
2) Lightly oil a bowl, lightly oil the dough boule with your hands, place the dough boule into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment for about 6 hours or until it doubles in size.
3) After the boule has doubled in size you’re ready to proof the bread into its final shape. I like a simple boule or a batard shape. Cover the dough with a towel and let it proof for another two hours or so. Etching the bread after it has proofed with a knife is a fun option too!
4) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn to radiant bake and place the proofed bread in the oven. Spray the sides of the oven with a spray bottle to create steam. Immediately lower the temp to 425 and Bake for 10 MINUTES. Pull the bread out of the oven and turn it around and bake for another 11 minutes.
5) Pull the bread out of the oven and let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes.
Voila! Enjoy! Experiment and have fun!
Let me know what you think of this recipe and if you have any questions.