If there's one type of bread that really requires a chunk of your time -- and a good amount of pre-planning -- it would have to be sourdough. Not only is there all the mixing, kneading and rising the day you plan to bake the bread. But, there's also the sourdough starter, which should be made about a week before the anticipated bread-baking day.
You can't just make sourdough on a whim. And for many of us that's more than inconvenient in our all-too-busy lives. But then again, that's why this bread tastes so good. It's the time that the yeast and dough are allowed to ferment that gives sourdough its complex flavor unlike any other bread. You just can't rush a good thing.
All this thought of time devoted to baking just one loaf of bread might stress you out -- we know how it is, it's hard to devote a day to a task as simple as baking bread (especially when you can easily just pick one up at the store). But trust us, baking this bread will actually help relieve you of your stress.
If you're able to forget about all your other daily obligations, and spend a day making something as simple, wholesome and delicious as sourdough bread, it can be as calming as doing a yoga class -- without having to do a single plank pose. It may also help to know that making the sourdough starter only takes a few minutes of your time to make and feed. (Yes, you feed a sourdough starter. We know that sounds scary, but it's not. Promise.) The bulk of the work is done the day you're baking, and even that's filled with lots of free time while the bread rises.
If you're up for the challenge, and a really good loaf of bread, you'll find everything you need to make the starter here -- including the option to cheat and buy some -- and a great sourdough bread recipe by the fine folks at King Arthur flour.
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