Sourdough baking is only hard if you want it to be. I took my starter on the road and made a lovely loaf of rye bread with my first try.
I am heading out on an early summer of adventure with the dogs, in our VW Westy. As we were leaving the house, I grabbed the sourdough starter and put it in the bus' fridge. We're stopping at my brother's for a bit and I decided to bake some bread.
A small container formerly used to house take-out Chinese or Indian serves as the perfect size for my counter-top starter.
I started with 1 cup of h20, 1 cup of bread flour and 1 heaping tablespoon of starter. I add 1/2 cup of each four hours later and then feed as I deem necessary. Usually once a day, discarding 1/2 cup and adding 1/4 cup h2o and the same of flour.
Bob's Redmill Dark Rye was on sale. I combined 2 1/2 cups of bread flour with 1 cup of Rye and a heaping tsp of salt. In a measuring cup I combined 1/4 cup of the starter with 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Then I mixed them together to make this sticky doughball.
I gave the dough about 18 hours in its first rise. It more than doubled and was super sticky. That is a wonderful sign!
I then spread out the dough and folded it into a loaf. I let that loaf rest for 10-15 minutes while I improvised a banneton.
I put a kitchen towel with no fuzzy-towel-ness in a mixing bowl and covered it with flour to act as my proofing basket. I then gave the loaf about 90 minutes for its second rise. It rose well.
After scoring and baking in a dutch oven, this is the result!
Sourdough is really easy if you let it be. People have been baking bread for centuries, you can too!