I feature Grapewood Farm whole unsifted hard red wheat flour in this recipe. They give me a discount in exchange for promoting their products, but I only promote companies I highly value.Jump to Recipe
Sourdough Bread is for Everyone’s Schedules
Do you find yourself wishing you could find the time to bake fresh, homemade bread…even if you juggle a busy schedule? Do you wish you could stop buying store bought bread with its added preservatives and plastic packaging? Well, you’ve come to the right place! While there are many sourdough recipes out there (including this, this, and this), today’s recipe is as hands off as you can possible get.
I work full time and have three kids at three different schools. Yet, we still manage to eat real food every single day, including baking this sourdough bread on weekends. How is that possible? With some advance planning and some careful timing, it’s not only possible, but nearly effortless. Let me explain.
The Sourdough Schedule
Have you dabbled in sourdough baking before, but either found yourself with too much starter or a starter that was not ready when you were? Here is how I break it down.
My starter lives in the fridge until I plan to use it. There’s a minimum one cup of starter in there at all times. On Thursday, I add 1 cup flour and 1 cup filtered water and stir. I stick it back in the fridge. On Friday evening, I prep tomorrow’s breakfast. This might be waffles or cinnamon rolls, or it might be as simple as feeding my starter for pancakes the next morning. Whatever the case may be, I’m setting my starter up to be used the following day for bread by using some of it and feeding it again. I leave it out overnight.
In the morning, my starter is at it’s peak when I wake. After having my coffee, I mix up the bread dough. I know the recipe by heart by now: 8 cups flour, 3-4 cups water, 4 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 cup starter. Mix, mix, mix, cover it, and let it rest for 8 hours. This could be less time, if your kitchen is really warm, or more time, if it’s really cool.
After it rises, stir the dough 2-4 times every 30 minutes. Preheat the oven (sliding in a Dutch oven to preheat as well), plop the bread dough into the Dutch oven, then bake it for about 55 minutes. That’s it.
To recap, I feed the starter the night before, mix the dough in the morning, and bake the dough that evening. Sometimes I stick the dough in the fridge overnight, then bake it the following morning.
It’s as easy as that! Give it a try. Sourdough bread is both delicious and rewarding.
Where I Get My Flour: Grapewood Farm
I first discovered Grapewood Farm by doing a search online for local, organic wheat flour. I was surprised to find a farm just three hours from me that not only grows organic wheat, but also ancient grains and rye, including including hard and soft red wheat, sungold spelt, danko rye, and, later this year, emmer.
After comparing costs to what I can buy at the supermarket vs. what I could order from their farm, I decided to order a 10 kg (22 lb) bag of of #70 sifted hard red wheat flour (similar to all-purpose flour) that was shipped to my door. The price with shipping was similar to what I could get at the store, but the difference was that my flour from Grapewood Farm was milled just days before I received it. Freshly milled flour has better flavor and higher nutrition than flour that has been sitting on grocery store shelves. I keep the milled flour in a chest freezer to preserve the nutrition and take out what I need to use week to week.
Before You Go…
Don’t forget about some of these other pin-worthy sourdough recipes:
Simple Sourdough Bread for Busy People
- large mixing bowl A glass bowl is best, so you can peek through to see if the dough is bubbly and active.
- heavy duty spatula
- Dutch oven, with lid that can go in the oven
- 8 cups spelt flour whole grain spelt flour, or a blend of whole grain and white spelt. I used Grapewood Farm's #70 sifted spelt flour
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup active sourdough starter
- 3-4 cups filtered water
- Measure out your spelt flour. You can also use whole wheat or all purpose, but I feel best with spelt or einkorn. To measure, fluff up the flour with your measuring cup, scoop it up, and level off the top before adding it to your bowl. Add the salt as well and stir.
- Drizzle in the olive oil, add the sourdough starter, and start by adding 3 cups of water. Stir the dough. It may be slightly shaggy, but you should be able to mostly stir it up. If it's too dry, add a bit more water, a little at a time, until a dough is formed that's not overly dry or wet.
- Cover it with an overturned plate (or damp dish towel) and let rise for about 8 hours. I usually mix it up on a Saturday morning.
- At the end of 8 hours, the dough should have risen significantly. It may be doubled in size, or not. Mine is usually about 2/3 bigger, and there are bubbles and air pockets in the dough. Use your spatula to stir the dough. Cover with a plate and let it rest for 30 minutes. At this point, I'm usually prepping dinner, so I'm around the dough.
- Stir the dough again, and let it rest for 30 minutes. You can do this two more times, but if you're pressed for time, just once or twice is fine.
- At this point I usually set the dough in the fridge overnight to bake the next morning. However, after a 30 minute rest, you are welcome to bake it. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the Dutch oven with lid into the oven to preheat.
- Once the oven is at temperature, remove the Dutch oven carefully and set it on the stovetop or a trivet. Remove the lid, and either sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal or place in some parchment paper, using oven mitts. Scrape the dough, with the spatula, into the hot Dutch oven and place the lid on it.
- Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, covered, then remove the lid and bake for about 25 minutes longer. The finished loaf should be golden and crisp on top. Let cook fully before slicing into it and enjoying.