I have been making naturally leavened breads for several years. I was gifted a sourdough starter from my friend Phyllis and I have learned from a very generous community. I use to look at beautiful pictures of breads and think “oh I hope I can make something like that…”
Now my idea of the “perfect” bread is the one that reflects my life, my family and the food choices we are able to make, which means “imperfect,” but truly wonderful. Each loaf is different and carries the intentions of this humble baker: sustenance, personal aesthetic, community, faith and family.
When I moved to Brazil last year, I took my starter with me on our journey. I didn’t know where we would be and when I would get our belongings out of storage. So I set out to find a simple recipe I could make using flour and water on any kitchen or using any kind of oven.
I started wondering if there was a formula, a way to find a rhythm so that I could make bread part of my family’s life. I read Flo Makanai formula and couldn’t wait to try. I love that the math comes easy and I can use what I have. I have made 100% whole grain using this formula and also egg bread (eggs, fats and liquids measured as 2 parts). I have used this formula to make stem buns and focaccia.
Please see some of my notes bellow
1 2 3 sourdough formula
1 part leaven, 2 parts water, 3 parts flour (in weight)
Let’s say we will start with 50g
Before going to bed make leaven:
3 tbsp (50g) starter from the fridge
6 tbsp (50g) flour
1/4 cup (50g) of water
Mix well, cover and let it ferment overnight. In the morning the starter will be bubbly. This is the leaven we will use to make bread.
In the morning, for the bread, mix 6 minutes:
150g leaven fed and bubbly
1 1/4 cup (300g) water
3 cups (450g ) flour (mix as you would like, for example 200g unbleached white, 200g While whole wheat, 50g rye)
2 tsp salt
Let it double, first rise.
During the first rise I often stretch and fold 3 or 4 times every 30 minutes (on a shape of an envelope. (see videos bellow or hashtag on instagram: #123sourdgouhformula ) to help develop and strengthen the gluten. Then let it rise until almost double at room temperature.
Shape into a boule, round. Place in a floured fabric inside a bowl, covered.
Let it rise about a third in the fridge until you can bake, 8 to 24 hrs.
Bake 450F for 30 minutes
or in a Dutch oven covered 25 minutes and uncovered another 25.
To store and keep the starter going, I feed it the same way I make leaven and put it back in the fridge until I am ready to make bread again.
I hope bread making makes you happy, like listening to a favorite song