I can’t honestly tell you anything that is more enjoying than cutting into a beautiful, new loaf of homemade bread when the weather is a little cold outside. The smell that fills the house cannot quite be explained!
This sourdough bread is incredibly easy to make – it’s something I would probably even consider a lazy man’s or woman’s bread, because it requires almost no effort at all. This bread is so easy and yummy you will wonder why you haven’t made it before.
While some sourdough bread varieties traditionally use a starter that you feed for several days before beginning your sourdough recipe, this one does not ~ instead of using a sourdough starter, this bread uses whey. We use our fresh whey from making yogurt at home, but you can also use whey from cheesemaking too – it all works wonderfully.
To get started, you’ll combine the whey with the flour, yeast, sugar or maple syrup, cinnamon, raisins, melted butter, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix until combined. It won’t be as moist as you might like it to be and that is O.K. — grease a large, deep bowl with a little oil or butter and plop that mixture right on in there.
Cover that bowl with a little [greased] plastic wrap (it’ll rise quite a bit and that lightly oiled wrap will make sure it stays moist under there). Allow the mixture to do its magic for at least 9-10 hours -I like to allow mine to rise overnight because it makes it easier for me to avoid peeking.
Once that 9 hours has passed, the dough will be substantially larger. Dump (literally) it out on a lightly floured surface, use a sharp knife to divide the dough into two. Don’t knead it, and be careful not to be too rough with the dough – it’ll be very loose and that’s ok.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F while you are preparing the dough.
Once you have two blobs of dough, shape one into a loaf and throw in a greased bread dish. Tuck the ends under on the second one to form a sourdough loaf and shape into a ball.
Lightly flour a dutch oven and place that round sourdough loaf ball in there making sure to keep the shape. Use a sharp knife to slash an “X” into the top of the loaf.
Place the lid on the dutch oven and set in the oven (you may have to lower the rack to the bottom for it to fit). Bake the dutch oven covered loaf for 25 minutes; remove the lid and reduce the heat to 425 degrees F, then bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove and let cool before slicing.
The other loaf in the bread can be baked at 425 (during the latter half of the round bake) for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
This bread is incredible when toasted and smeared with butter ~ if you aren’t enjoying the bread, it’s wise to keep it tightly wrapped at room temperate to avoid it drying out.