There is no better way to enjoy a chilly, rainy day with a warm loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread. Freshly cut, buttered bread is no match for anything really – and sourdough might just perhaps be the easiest bread you can make. This particular chocolate chip whey sourdough requires almost no effort — just 8-12 hours, which can easily be done as you rest at night.
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.
To get started, you’ll combine the whey with the flour, yeast, sugar or maple syrup, chocolate chips, 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.
Grease a sheet of plastic wrap with some oil or butter, and wrap the top of the bowl in that – you want that mixture underneath to stay nice & moist as it works its magic. Allow that mixture to sit for 8-12 hours (the longer the better).
I like to mix it up at night just before I go to bed and allow that whey to work its magic on the flour as I sleep.
When you wake up (or, after that time has passed), the dough will be quite a bit larger. Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and dump that mixture right on top — don’t be tempted to knead it, and don’t be too rough with the mass. It’s supposed to be very loose – that’s OK!
Grab a dutch oven and lightly sprinkle some flour in the bottom; then reheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Return back to the dough blob on your counter – fold over and tuck under, as you work around the dough – you are going to form it into a ball – not too large, maybe around 7-8″ in diameter. Lightly pick up that ball and “plop” it in your dutch oven that you floured just moments ago..
Use a sharp knife to slash an “X” into the top of the loaf.
Now place the lid on your dutch oven, and place in your fully preheated oven for 25 minutes at 450. After that time, turn the heat down to 425 and (carefully) remove the lid – set that lid on the counter top, making sure it’s out of reach of little hands. Bake for 15 additional minutes.
The first bake (25 min) will help the dough rise; the second 15 minute period will give the loaf its dark brown color. It’s done when the bread looks dark brown and is hollow when tapped.
Carefully remove the dutch oven using potholders and allow it to cool before slicing.
Looking for something other than chocolate chips? You can also make this sourdough with raisins!