Austrian-style Sourdough Bread

This is my favorite bread - the kind you typically get in Austria. It’s a dark, heavy bread that tastes and smells delicious. It takes a bit of time to make, but it’s so worth it!

 

First, you will need to make your own sourdough starter – this should take about 5 or 6 days, but it’s very easy. This starter is used instead of the instant yeast you buy at the shop. All you need for it is flour, water and time.

You only need to make this starter once – for all your future baking, you won’t need to make the starter again – you can just keep it going (see notes at the end).

 

Here is how to make the sourdough starter:

 

Day 1:

50 grams organic stone-ground white flour

50 grams water

Weigh the flour and water and then mix together until smooth – it’ll look like a thick, sticky dough. Cover with a tea towel or cheesecloth and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 24 hours.

 

Day 2:

50 grams organic stone-ground white flour

50 grams water

Add the flour and water and mix together until smooth. Cover with a tea towel or cheesecloth again and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 24 hours again.

 

Day 3:

50 grams organic stone-ground white flour

50 grams water

By now you should see some bubbles on the surface of the dough and it might start to smell a bit sour. Stir in today's flour and water and mix until smooth. Again, cover and let it sit on the counter for 24 hours.

 

Day 4:

50 grams organic stone-ground white flour

50 grams water

There should be quite a lot of bubbles by now and you will notice the sour smell. Again, mix in today's flour and water and stir until smooth. Cover and let sit for another 24 hours.

 

Day 5:

The starter should look bubbly and have a sour, pungent smell – that means it’s ready to use.

If your starter isn’t very bubbly yet, you can feed it some more flour and water and wait for another 24 hours.

 

 

How to make the whole grain sourdough bread:

 

Evening of Day 1:

200 grams water

120 grams of your sourdough starter

240 grams whole wheat flour

 

Mix the water with the sourdough starter until well combined. Poor in the flour and combine.

Let it sit at room temperature - covered loosely with plastic for 12 hours.

 

Morning of Day 2:

274 grams water

170 grams spelt flour

85 grams rye flour

13 grams salt

300 grams white bread flour

 

Add the water to yesterday’s dough and mix.

Stir in the spelt flour, rye flour and the salt.  

Stir in about half of the white flour.

Use some of the other white flour to dust the bench and turn out the dough. Knead the dough and keep adding the rest of the white flour.

If the dough is still too sticky, add some more white flour and knead for 10 minutes.

Place in a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours.

 

Morning of Day 3:

The dough should have risen nicely. Form it into the shape you want and let it sit at room temperature for another 5 hours.

 

After those 5 hours, put a La Cloche (or other heavy cast iron pot with a lid) in the oven and pre-heat to 475 F (245 C) for about ½ hour.

Transfer the dough into your La Cloche and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then take the lid off and bake for another 15 minutes.

Turn out onto a cooling rack.

 

Ready – enjoy!

 

 

Notes:

Once you’ve got your sourdough starter, you can just keep it going – so that in future you won’t need to wait 5 days for the starter to be ready.

To maintain the starter, discard (or use) about half of the starter and then "feed" it with new flour and water: weigh the flour and water, and combine them in the container with the starter. Stir vigorously until combined into a smooth batter.

If you're using the starter within the next few days, leave it out on the counter and continue discarding half and "feeding" it daily.

If it will be longer before you use your starter, cover it tightly and place it in the fridge. Remember to take it out and feed it at least once a week and let it sit out overnight to give the yeast time to recuperate before putting it back in the fridge.

 

 

 

Nutrition (for the whole loaf of bread):

Calories: 2064, Fat 5.4 g, Sat. Fat 0.6 g, Carbs 432.6 g, Sugar 1.8 g, Fiber 15.6 g, Protein 58.8 g