Vegan Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is chewy and full of beautiful holes! The tangy flavor tastes great with creamy chowders, as toast, or in sandwiches.
Serves: 16Hands-on: 45 minutesTotal: 4 days 5 hours 50 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 8 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 4 1⁄2 tsp. active dry yeast (2 packets), divided
- 2 cups warm water (110°F–115°F)
- 1 1⁄4 cups warm soy milk (110°F–115°F)
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- Sterilize all equipment first by boiling in water for 5 minutes. This includes the container for the starter and all measuring cups and utensils. Combine the 2 cups flour and 2 1⁄4 teaspoons yeast (1 packet) in the sterile 2-quart glass or glazed ceramic bowl or container. Gradually stir in the water to form a thick, pasty mixture. Cover with a clean dish towel and set container on a baking sheet to catch any overflow that may occur. Place in a warm area, ideally 70° to 80°F, and allow to sit for 3–4 days, stirring once each day.
- When the starter is ready it will be bubbly and will have a sour but pleasant aroma. (If starter smells bad or develops a pink or orange tint, throw it out and start over.) The starter is ready to use and can be covered with a tight-fitting lid and stored in the refrigerator at this point.
- The starter will need to be fed once every other week. To feed the refrigerated starter, bring starter to room temperature then add 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour. Let sit at room temperature for 8 hours and return to the refrigerator. Sometimes a brown liquid byproduct of fermentation called “hooch” will appear on the starter. This is harmless and can be stirred back into the starter.
- Stir together remaining 2 1⁄4 teaspoons yeast (1 packet), soy milk, and sugar in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to get bubbly. Mix in 1 cup sourdough starter (reserve remaining starter for another use) and allow to sit for 1–2 hours. Stir in olive oil, salt, and 3 cups flour. Gradually add the all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until dough is smooth and not too sticky.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 10 to 12 minutes until elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl, turning to coat surface of dough with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down, divide in half, and shape into two round loaves. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Lightly grease 2 lightly greased baking sheets. Place loaves on baking sheets and cut a diagonal 1⁄4-inch deep slices across the loaf. Allow the loaves to rise again until doubled in bulk.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until tapping on the bottom of the loaves produces a hollow sound. Transfer to wire racks to cool.