Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sourdough without the Starter!

Wow, it's been a while since I posted! We spent all of last week in Idaho visiting family, just got back on Monday. I have a couple recipes that I'm planning posts for, but I have to do this one first because I'm so excited about it.

I started this bread yesterday evening and it was finally done this afternoon. It's so delicious! Yes, it takes a very long time from start to finish, but with very little hands-on time or effort. It's a set-it-and-forget-it kind of bread. And definitely worth the wait.


Speaking of wait, that's my little guy in the background, waiting for me to hurry up and finish taking pictures so he can have a slice!

This is a sourdough bread that really fascinated me because it doesn't use a starter! I don't have to start the starter, let it sit for 3 or 4 days, then store it in the fridge and make sure to use it or drain it every couple of weeks! I love sourdough bread, but I always end up letting the starter die and turn funny colors. So I was excited to be given this recipe. It just uses a tiny amount of yeast and rises for a very long time, and it gets that wonderful sourdough scent and flavor. I don't think it turned out quite as sour as the kind with a starter, but it's delicious nonetheless.


Starterless Sourdough
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 5/8 cups water

Mix ingredients in bowl. Dough will be sticky and shaggy. Cover and let sit for 18 hours. Drop dough on floured surface, put a little flour on top. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Mold the dough by folding, tucking, and/or shaping a bit. Drop on floured surface. Put towel over it and let sit for 2 hours.

Half an hour before the dough is done resting, put a big heavy pan with a lid into cold oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Take pan out. Plop dough into hot pan. Bake for 30 minutes with lid. Bake without lid for 15-30 minutes.


I used my ceramic 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish to bake the bread in, because it's the only pan I have that has a lid. It worked perfectly - I didn't grease the dish and the bread came out without sticking at all. It was crispy and crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. Yummmm....


***Update, I forgot to add something. You have to think ahead with this recipe. First off, you have to start it the day before you want to eat it. Also - that first rise will really get you if you're not careful! I decided that I don't want to be getting up before 8:00 in the morning to be working on bread, so I won't start the bread before 2:00 in the afternoon. You don't want to start it at 10 in the morning only to realize that the dough will finish its first rise at around 3 in the morning! So do the math before you do the mixing. :-)

36 comments:

Katy ~ said...

This is going to be the sourdough of my dreams, I think! What! No feeding of the sourdough starter, etc?! I'm LOVING this. Perfect, perfect, answer for me. Thank you for a terrific post!

Rebekah said...

yummy!!!!!!! this is brilliant! I've always wanted to make the starter sourdough but didn't want to deal with the starter. i WILL def try this one. oh and your homemade bread recipe is perfect! i've made it MANY times since finding it here! love it!!!

Mommy's Kitchen said...

I adore sourdough bread stephanie. I must try this, it looks so gooda.

Bridget said...

Gosh, that bread looks amazing! My husband loves sourdough. Love your little guy waiting for a slice! ;)

Kristen said...

This is fantastic! One of the reasons I never make sourdough is because I am more of a quick gratification kind of gal.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom said...

Stop by my blog when you have a chance. I've given you something.

The American Homemaker said...

That looks really yummy! I'll have to try it :) I only use whole wheat flour though, so I wonder if it'll turn out...

Emily said...

I can't wait to try this recipe!! I have always been scared off by needing a starter for sourdough so have never tried to make it before.

I am wondering what exactly "Mold it" means though? And I like that you made it in a 2 1/2 qt. casserole. That is one of the only pan I have with a lid also. When I saw the part about baking with a lid I thought that I would have to get a new pan just to make it, but now I don't have to spend the extra money!

Stephanie said...

I wasn't exactly sure what molding it meant. I just sort of kneaded it around and shaped it a bit. Don't worry about getting it perfectly shaped because you're going to plop it into the baking dish in a couple hours anyway - you can tell mine isn't shaped perfectly in the pics! I guess just get it into a more uniform shape for its second rise.

Elizabeth said...

That bread looks delicious! My mouth is watering...MMMMMM! I love me some homemade bread. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll have to give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, you've just finished your first 'no knead bread' (google it :) ) !

Kimmie said...

Thanks so much for sharing!! I laughed at your comment about your start "turning funny colors"...that has definitely happened to me a time or two and so it has been years since I have made sourdough bread and sad, because sourdough is my hubby's favorite bread.

I really am excited to give this a try...sounds like a great thing to make on the weekend when life isn't as hectic as the middle of the week.

I wish I could just reach through the screen and slice off a piece of that bread it looks so good.

I sure do enjoy your Blog and wonderful tips and recipes you give. Have a "cool summer" day!!

(I know from experience it is definitely a challenge cooking from scratch in the summer and not heating up the house/apt. too much).

ginny said...

Hi! Thanks for posting as my husband's favorite is sourdough but I have no interest in working with a starter.
However, when I tried the recipe it did not turn out. The dough didn't rise, it burnt on top and was raw in the middle.
Any tips? What did you cover the dough with for the 18 hour rise? Did you bake at 450 for the whole time or turn the temp down?
Thanks so much!

Stephanie said...

Ginny - I think that I put a metal pan lid on the bowl for the 18-hour rise. Either that or I covered it with seran wrap. I don't recall, sorry. But it was covered in a way that kept the moisture in, I'm pretty sure.

I'm not sure why it would have cooked the way it did. I baked mine at 450 for the whole time. Did you make sure to cover it for the first 30 minutes of baking, and then uncover for the last 15-30 minutes?

Anyway, if you try it again I hope it works for you! When it turns out right, it's really quite delicious.

Bill said...

I've had this recipe bookmarked for ages. I finally made it today (well, last night into today) and just took my first bite. It's the first loaf of bread I've ever baked, and it's fantastic! Thanks. Now how do I not eat it all in one evening?

kim said...

Do you think this would turn out in a bread maker?

Stephanie said...

You know, probably not. With the really long sitting/rising/resting times, it's unlikely that there's a bread machine setting that will work with this recipe. It's easy enough that it's really no problem to do it by hand though, you don't even have to knead it.

Jenifer Harrod said...

I'm trying this today we will see how it goes. Yours looks so yummy!

laura Etheridge said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!
THIS IS AMAZING!!!!
TASTES, LOOKS, SMELLS JUST LIKE A LOAF FROM THE BEST BAKERY IN TOWN, AND SOOOO EASY TO MAKE.
QUESTION: DO YOU THINK IT WOULD WORK USING WHITE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR????

Stephanie said...

Laura - I have never used white whole wheat flour, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Give it a try and let me know if it works. :)

The Saucy Wench said...

Mine is ready to go into the oven...it's REALLY sticky though? We'll see if it turns out! :)

The Saucy Wench said...

well when I went to heat up my pan it cracked in half! :( crap!!! So I tried a different pan but didn't heat it, I just sprayed it. Baked as directed, it was AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you have already mentioned this, but do you use plain flour or self rising? Thanks, and the bread looks great!

Stephanie said...

Plain flour. :)

Melissa Zupo said...

This looks amazing! Do you think I can use active dry yeast instead of instant? This is my first attempt at bread making.. :)

Stephanie said...

Active dry is what I use. I just now looked it up and found that instant yeast is a bit more potent than active dry yeast. Also, instant can be mixed with dry ingredients directly while active dry works better when you activate it in warm water before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Before your comment, I actually didn't even know there was a difference! I've always used active dry yeast, no matter what the recipe says, and never had any problems.

Sandy Frances said...

I would to make smaller buns so I can use the buns as bowls for soup. Do u know if I can make these in smaller containers (ie aluminum played and then cover w tin foul in oven)?

Stephanie said...

Sandy - I would imagine that would work great. You might have to adjust the bake time a bit. Experiment and see what works.

Sandy Bergasse said...

Hi Stephanie. Can u tell me does the bread rise when bakes. I'm waiting the two hours now before I'm putting them in the oven but they appear alittle small. Not sure if they do rise when baking. Thanks.

Stephanie said...

Yes, it will rise while baking, though maybe not quite as much as a regular yeasted loaf.

Sandy Bergasse said...

They turned out great! Tasted and smelled fantastic. Thanks for all your responses....Sandy

Rachael Fowler said...

This is such a great blog!!! Really makes me hungry just reading and looking at the pictures : ) I recently baked my first loaf of bread and it was incredible!!! I used a starter my friend told me about. It's from Sourdough's International and now I have to spread the word! I loved it. Definitely going to order more when it comes the time.

Leo Lafleur said...

I made this after only 7 hours initial rising time instead of the 18, and it turned out great... I did use 12x's the amount of yeast specified (was going to make starter then saw 4-8 day fermenting time) saw this and started (saw 18 hour waiting time after the ingredients were in) and decided to wait, and got tired of waiting and after about 7.5 hours started the 15 min rise, got too impatient and then threw it in the oven... I used a 12x12 metal pan with a pizza tray as the lid... Crust is very hard, but tastes amazing!!! Thanks, but next time I will have to try it after waiting the time stated...

Leo Lafleur said...

Awesome recipe but I will HAVE to try this when I decide to wait... Made this after starting a starter, and seeing the 4-8 day wait time after the ingredients were in the bowl... I got tired of waiting seven hours in and started the fifteen minute rest, saw it stopped growing and threw it in the pan and in the oven... Turned out great, minus the really hard crust... But I also used 3 teaspoons of yeast...

Jimmy and Pauline said...

Hi Stephanie, just started the recipe and an eagerly awaiting the results :) Do you warm the water you use in the recipe or is it cold?

Stephanie said...

Hi Jimmy and Pauline - I have done it both ways and it works either way. With such a long rising time, the water gets cold after a while anyway. :)