Easy Rustic Bread Baking with Yeast and Sourdough (Austrian / German Style) | Maggi Fuchs | Skillshare

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Easy Rustic Bread Baking with Yeast and Sourdough (Austrian / German Style)

teacher avatar Maggi Fuchs, Do more with less.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (52m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your class project

    • 3. Choose the right ingredients

    • 4. Equipment

    • 5. Make a sourdough starter

    • 6. Learn the basics: Easy yeast bread

    • 7. The challenge: Sourdough bread

    • 8. Take care of your sourdough

    • 9. Let's experiment

    • 10. Thanks for watching

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About This Class

Did you know it's easy to bake beautiful and delicious bread at home?
In this course, you will learn to bake rustic, traditional bread as we do it here in Austria (and in the southern regions of Germany). Our bread is famous all over the world and if you have always wanted to know how it is made, then this is the course for you.


I learned these traditional recipes from my grandmother when I was a kid, and I have been baking bread ever since. Baking bread is easy, you only need a handful of ingredients, and I am pretty sure you already have all the equipment you need at home.

This class is great for beginners and advanced bakers alike.

We will bake two different types of bread together:

  • The first bread is a simple and delicious yeast bread. In this part, you will learn all the basics of bread baking - and some of my personal tips and tricks.
  • The second bread will be a loaf of sourdough bread. You will learn how to make your own sourdough starter and how to apply all the techniques you learned during the first part. 

I'll also share some ideas for you to experiment with, and I'll share all the tips and tricks I have learned over the years.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section. I'll try to help as much as I can.

Meet Your Teacher

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Maggi Fuchs

Do more with less.


Hello, I'm Maggi.

I am a location-independent (content) creator as well as a trainer for Direct to Garment printing and T-Shirt design. 

Before I decided to become a location-independent trainer, I was working in Research & Development and - at the same time - as Head of Marketing for a DTG printer manufacturer. As a side hustle, I am uploading on numerous print on demand platforms for more than ten years.

I have a bachelor's degree in Management and Economics as well as a master's degree in Online Marketing. I also hold industry-related certifications, like the Idealliance Color Management Professional Master's Certificate. 

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello everyone. Today's topic is a little bit different from what I would usually talk about, but it is something that I have been very passionate about for many, many years, almost my whole life, I would say. So without further ado, welcome to my course on baking bread. If you ever wanted to know how we make homemade bread here in Austria, then this is the course for you. And by the way, Austria's the country next to Germany. In Europe. Don't confuse it with Australia. We have no kangaroos here in Austria. So this is the course about how we make homemade artisan bread around here. In my opinion, the best bread is fresh bread. There are several reasons for this. First off, it's cheaper. Second, it tastes better. And the third one, maybe the most important one, is that you actually know what's inside your bread. When you buy some bread, there are usually lots of artificial ingredients. But on homemade bread, you actually can be sure what's inside. Plus the smell of freshly baked bread is just the best thing in the world. So how did I set up this course? In the first part of this course, I will show you how to make your own sourdough starter. It will actually take a few days until it will be ready. But we will use this time to our advantage. So while we wait, we are going to bake bread out of yeast together. In this second part of the course, I will explain to you everything you need to know about baking bread, as well as all the basics. By the way, there is nothing wrong with a loaf of bread out of yeast. And know that many people love sourdough bread, and it's kind of the master class of bread baking. But if you make it good, yeast bread can be just as good. And actually many people prefer it to sourdough bread because it's much quicker to make and also much easier. So if you want to know how to make simple bread, then this part of the course is for you. In the third part of this course, we're going to bake sourdough bread together. Since I already explained all the basics in the part before, I'm going to move a little bit faster in this one. But I'm going to show you how to bake a sourdough bread. And we will talk about how you can keep your sourdough alive for many years. And finally, I will give you some ideas and tips to experiment with. The type of breads we're going to bake together are typical artisan breads we would make here in Austria. In my country, bread is part of our tradition, and I believe that our part of the world is actually quite famous for our bread. So I am by no means a professional baker. I am a normal person just like you. I have a normal kitchen. I don't have any fancy tools and all those things you don't need to be part of this class. I learned how to bake bread from my grandmother when I was a child. So what my "Oma" gave me back then was not really a recipe that beginners could use. But since I had to repeat it so many times over the years, I got the experience and I developed some kind of feeling on how to make bread. Because the nice thing is once you make bread, often enough, you get a kind of intuition for baking bread. And then you can vary recipes and adjust when things don't go according to plan. So you really don't need a recipe at the end of the day anymore. But don't worry, I'm going to share with you a proper recipe. But still, my goal with this course is to give you kind of this experience for making bread and which tips and tricks you can use to figure out if you're on the right track with your bread. So at the end of the day, a good bread actually only needs four ingredients. You need flour, water, salt, and time. And time is probably the most important ingredient of it. After all, a loaf of bread is more like a living organism. It doesn't always behave the same way. Think of it like a hormone-driven teenager, there are days where everything will go very smoothly and according to plan. And sometimes there will just be days where you have to adjust. So my goal with this course is to help you get this intuition because once you have it, you can make fantastic bread. And trust me, it's a great feeling when you get to hold your first homemade loaf of bread in your hands. And actually, it's even better when you get to taste it. 2. Your class project: So let's take a minute and talk about your class project. I know, I know this will come as a surprise, but you're going to bake a loaf of bread. I would love to see your results, so please, please, please share them in the project sections. And if you have any questions or if you run into any problems, please feel free to post them in the comments. And I will be more than happy to help as good as I can. 3. Choose the right ingredients: As I mentioned in the introduction, bread has basically four ingredients. You need water, flour, salt, and time. This is true if you're making sourdough bread, because the starter we make out of flour and water. If you want to make the bread without sourdough, then you need a fifth ingredient, which would be yeast. But let's have a look at all the ingredients in detail. So first let's talk a little bit about flour. The first bread we're going to make will be a yeast bread, and we're going to only use wheat flour for it. This is easier to bake and it takes less time. For the sourdough bread, we're actually going to use a mixture of rye and wheat flour. This is very popular here in my area of the world. And it's very special because rye flour actually needs sourdough to rise. You could never bake pure rye bread with yeast, for example. And there's lots of advantages to those mixed breads. For example, there rye flour can absorb more water. And with that, the bread will stay fresh for a longer period of time. So there are a few things you should watch out when it comes to flour. For example, please use plain flour. I know that there's some kind of self rising flour available in some countries. They are already mixed with some kind of leaving agent. But for my recipes, please use normal plain flour. Also, Please do some research about flour in your country. Usually flour gets categorized by numbers. For example, here in Austria, the lower the number, the finer and more process the flour is. And lower numbers flour you would usually use for finer doughs like Pizza or Ciabatta. For bread, you usually use a number from the middle to the higher range. But let's get one thing very clear here. From my experience, you should be able to make bread with almost any flour. The worst thing that can happen is that the consistency at the end will be a little bit different. Or that the dough behaves a little differently while you make it. But as I said, once you get this intuition, you will know how to adjust and react. And at the end of the day you will have a very, very nice bread. So be open to experimenting. If one type of flour does not work then just choose a different one, it's also possible to mix different types of flours, so everything will behave a little bit different. The results will be different, but that's the fun of it. So all bread needs some kind of leaving agent. Typically it's either yeast are sour dough or a mixture of both. It's necessary so that the bread rises and you will get a soft inside. If you wouldn't have used any leavening agent at all, then your bread would be a hard as a brick. If you bake with yeast, it does not matter too much if you use fresh yeast or dry yeast, just make sure you check if you use the correct amount for the amount of flour you're using. But just like with so many other things when it comes to baking bread, the amounts are really not written in stone. Again, the worst thing that can happen is that the dough will behave a little bit different. For example, if you use a little bit more yeast, then obviously it will have more power. It will rise faster and it needs to get to the oven faster. If you use it less yeast, it will take more time and it will need longer until it's ready to bake. The water that you should be using should be of drinking quality and it should be warm. Here in Austria, I just use tap water because I'm in the lucky situation that we have drinking quality water coming out of the tap. But if your country does not have good water quality then please use some water from a bottle. And by the way, for the fluid part, you can also use different fluids like milk or beer or yogurt to enhance your bread. And we will talk more about this in the last part of the course, where I give you some tips for experimentation. Another ingredient you need to use is salt. And salt is very, very important because without salt, your bread will taste like nothing. So as a rule of thumb, we usually use between 2 to 3% of the weight of the flour to measure salt. And it's a lot of salt. Bread is usually rather rich in salt, but you may be able to reduce the amount of salt and a little bit, if at the latest stage you want to add some herbs or spices to your bread. And that's something I'm going to mention here. More as an optional ingredient. But it's nonetheless something that is very typical for my region here, is that we often add some spices to our bread. So the most typical combination in my part of the world is a mixture of Carraway, Anise, Fennel, and Coriander seats. If you can grind them freshly before you add them to the bread because the flavor will be much better, but it's also just perfectly fine to use some ready-made mix or use dried herbs. But as I said, adding those spices is totally optional, but it can be an easy way to add some personality to your bread. 4. Equipment: You do not need a lot of equipment to make the bread. I'm quite certain that you already have everything you need at home. So let's have a look at what do you need. You will need a bowl or a container to mix the dough. It's easier to work with a bowl that is a little bit larger and round. So you don't have to scrape the dough out of the edges. And what I also like to use is a one with a more flat bottom because it's easier to knead the dough in it, because it will not flip all over the place, but use whatever you have at home. At the end of the day, almost everything will work. Maybe it's a little less convenient, but nonetheless, it will work. The next thing we need is a scale to measure out the ingredients. During this course, I will stick to grams, but I know that many of you cook with other units like cups. So in the download section, I put the PDF with the recipes and there I tried to convert to other units. But honestly, in my opinion, from a European perspective, cups are an awful way to measure ingredients because they're just too inconsistent. At the end of the day, one type of flour weights much more than the second type of flour, even though they have the same volume. So it's a little bit tricky. But at the end of the day, minimal variations with the quantities will not matter too much. Because my goal with this course is to teach you the intuition to bake bread and then you will know how to adjust. So it's not rocket science. All that will happen is that if you use a little bit too much or not enough flour, for example, that the dough will look a little bit different, but you will know what to do and how you can adjust to save the day. However, I highly recommend you to use the correct measurements in grams and the scale if you have. Because I believe it will make your life much easier, especially in the beginning. Next, we need a container to prove the dough in. You can simply use any bowl for a salad or something, and then line it with a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle some flour inside and then just put the dough in there. Another thing you can use if you have one of those professional proving baskets out of natural material and they will give your bread it's signature look that is so typical for Austrian and German bread. But this thing is absolutely not necessary. As I said, a bowl will work just as fine. You will also need an oven and a baking tray and you will need some clean hands and some elbow grease because you need to knead and mix the dough. Optionally, you can use a food processor if you have, but please, please, please make sure to check if actually your food processor is suitable for making bread. Because often there is some kind of limitations on how much dough you can make with them. Bread dough can get quite dense and quite heavy, and it can easily destroy your food processor if it's not up to the challenge. 5. Make a sourdough starter: So now it's time to make a sour dough start that it is very easy to make, but it takes some time. So you should plan five days to make your starter. Then what you will need a scale to measure the ingredients. And you also need some kind of container. The container should have a lid. So I usually use one of those glass jars with a lid that you can screw on or I use one of these ones. Both of them work. The only thing is that you don't want to vacuum seal it when the sourdough is rising. So if you have one like this ones, I just remove the little seal. And if you use one of the screw on tops that just loosely place the top on top. Before you begin, you will need to sterilize your jar. So the way I do it is that I usually clean it thoroughly in the beginning and then I carefully pour some boiling water into the jar. Then I let the hot water sit for a few minutes, remove it and let the jar cool down completely. But before you do this, please make sure that the jar you use can handle hot temperatures, not all of them can, but the ones that you use to can vegetables are usually fine. But if not, then use another method to sterilize the char. When it comes to the ingredients, what do you need to make his sourdough start that is flour and water. And again, please make sure that the water is of drinking quality. I personally make my start the out of rye flour because it's the traditional sourdough that we use in my part of the world. But if you happen to have no rye flour, then you can also make one out of wheat flour. To keep this video short and simple, I use grams throughout the course, but I know that many of you cook with different measurements. So what I did is I created a PDF where I tried my best to convert to those other measurements and you can find it in the download section of this course. So on the first day of making your starter, what do you have to do is you put 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water into your sterilized container, and then you mix it very well. I always use a dough scraper to just remove the rest of the dough from the walls of the jar. And this will help you to prevent mold. So once that is done, just loosely, place the lid back on the jar and put it in a warm place. And that's already everything you have to do on the first day. On the next day or more or less 24 hours later, you go ahead and add another 50 grams of flour and another 50 grams of water to the mixture. And you mix it very well. Again, you clean the walls, you put the lid back on, and you put it in a warm place again. And the same step must be repeated on day three and on day four. And on day five, your sourdough should be ready. I often get the question how you can tell if you're sour dough is good. Well, first, there should be some kind of visible activity. Usually after a few days your sourdough will grow. So once you feed it, it will get larger within a few hours. This is normal for a sourdough. So when you feed it with fresh flour, it will grow and once it will run out of flour to eat, it will collapse again. Another sign would be that there would be some kind of bubbles and you should be able to see them through the jar. So there will be lots of bubbles within the dough, but you often can see a few of them on top. And the smell of sourdough should be well, sour. But here it gets a little bit tricky. So to smell and the color can vary depending on the type of bacteria that has grown in it. It is normal that it has a strong and maybe somewhat unpleasant smell. But if you smell it and you immediately want to throw up, then I would recommend you to throw it away and start again. It is also normal that some liquid settles on top. And sometimes it also starts to have different colors. But what is definitely not normal is if you see some kind of a mold or mushrooms or anything growing on top of your starter. Okay, so while you grow your sourdough, let's go ahead and learn the basics so you are ready when your sourdough is ready. And that's why we're going to bake has simple bread out of yeast now. And in this part of the course, I will explain you all the basics and techniques that I know about and you can get some experience so that when your sourdough is ready in a few days, you are ready too. 6. Learn the basics: Easy yeast bread : So now it's finally time to bake your first loaf of bread. And I would recommend you to just watch this whole class before you try it yourself because things will get messy. So as a first step, let's gathered together the ingredients, as I mentioned before, I am using grams. So if you need any other measurement, please go ahead and check out my PDF. So here is what do you will need, 500 grams of flour, 320 grams of water in drinking quality, 15 grams of salt, two grams of dry yeast, or alternatively five grams of fresh yeast. So as a second step, let's go ahead and prepare the dough. We're going to mix all the flour and all the water together in a bowl. And I always think it's a little bit easier if I add the water first and then put the flour on top. This step will be your first challenge because now you need to figure out how much water you're going to add. When you first mix the dough. It should be about this consistency. As you can see, there are already some lumps forming, but there is some loose flour on the bottom. There is still a lot of flour. You will need to use a little bit more water. If everything is too soft already, then you should add a little bit more flour. You can always add some more water or flour later in the bread making process. But I always find it a little bit easier when the dough is correct from the start. Especially if you're always too dry and you want to add some water later on, it gets very messy until all the water on the outside is properly incorporated into the dough. So now that our mixture is more or less correct, we just knead it a little bit until it forms a dough. Next, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and put it in a warm place and let it rest for about 60 to 90 minutes. This first step will give your wheat bread and nice flavor and a nice texture. The bread will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This method, I always use when I make bread with wheat flour because wheat flour has a lot of gluten. And during this waiting time, the flower can react with the water. And you will notice how the consistency of the dough will change during this waiting time. So next, we add the yeast and the salt to the dough. Then we knead it for about 15 minutes and yes, that is some serious elbow grease there. And as a side note, I always use dry yeast, so I just sprinkle it on top and incorporate it into the dough. But if you use fresh yeast or it doesn't work for you like this, then just go ahead and make a small portion of dough with a little bit of water where you dissolve the yeast and a little bit of flour and then add this to the mixture. It is often easier to take the dough out of the bowl and just knead on the counter. But then make sure that the kitchen counter is clean and add some flower (if necessary). And to avoid that the dough is sticking to the countertop when you knead it, Don't press down. Tried to push it forward. It will be much easier and it will stick less to the surface. And if you're dough is very sticky than simply use one of those dough scrapers to get it off the countertop. And make it into a dough again. Do not use too much extra flour during this step. Because when you use a lot of flour, it will make your bread more dry. You really want that dough as soft as possible. And during those 15 minutes of kneading time, you will notice how the consistency of the dough will change. At first it will be a little bit rough. And the more you knead it, the more smooth it will get. And you will be really able to feel the change in the dough. The dough is usually ready when it has a smooth and shiny surface. You can also use a food processor to knead the dough. But as I mentioned before, please check if it's really suitable for bread dough and use the correct settings and the correct accessories. So now it's time for step number three, where the bread has to rise for the first time. Once your dough is needed, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, and again, put it in a warm place and let it rest. There should be no breeze and the warmer it is the better. If you do not have a very warm place, there is no problem, but it will take a little bit longer for the dough to rise properly. Actually, I think now's a good time to discuss the factors which will influence the rising of your bread. So one of the first influencing factors is temperature. The colder it is, the longer you, though we'll need to rise. And with that, I do not only mean the room temperature, but also the temperature of your ingredients. For example, if you add very cold water, this can also influence the time and it may need a little bit longer to rise. The second influencing factor is the leavening agent. which can be either a yeast or sourdough or a combination of both. And more yeast you use, or the stronger you are sourdough starter is, the faster your bread will rise. However, this also means if you use less yeast or if you're sourdough a little bit weaker then it will just simply need a little bit more time to rise. So not all is lost. So as you can see, this is not an exact science and this is exactly the point where your experience will come in. Because at some point you will know your dough and how it should react. And you will be able to adjust the time if necessary. And at the same time, once you have gained this basic understanding of how to make bread, you can really use it to your advantage. For example, let's say you don't have enough time to bake today and you want to finish your bread tomorrow. What you can do is you use less leavening agent and put it in the fridge and then it will take more time to get ready. And the best time to do this would be now during the first rise. But we will talk about this a little bit more later in the last part of this course, where we talk about experimentation. So the next step is something that I do with wheat doughs. As it rises, fold it approximately every 30 minutes. This will make your wheat dough much more stable. So wash your hands before you begin. Always wash your hands. Very important! So the way to do this is that you take some dough from the corner, you stretch it up and you fold it back into the middle. And then you just go all around and repeat this. And this will give your dough much more consistency. And as I said, during this waiting time, try to do it about every 30 minutes. So when the size of your dough has roughly doubled its time to form the bread. And for me with this dough, it usually takes around two hours. But as I mentioned, if your dough rises very quickly. You may need to do this faster. And if it is not even rising at all yet, then you may need to wait a little bit longer. But for me that's usually around two hours. And now it's time to shape the bread. So now in step number four, we're going to form the loaf. What do you do is that you sprinkle a thin layer of flour on your kitchen counter, and then you take the bread out of the bowl. You want to form a round loaf. even if at the end you want to make a different form. forming this round loaf is always the first step. The way you do this is very similar to the folding of the dough we did before while it was rising. What do you do is that you take some dough from the outside and you pull it towards the center. Then you rotate the dough a little bit and pull the next piece in. And you will immediately notice again that the dough will get the different consistency. It will get stiffer and more round and it does not matter if the top looks like a mess. Don't worry, that dough does not have to look smooth right now, because once you have gone around two or three times, simply flip the dough. And as you can see now, you have a perfectly formed loaf with a smooth surface. And what I usually do is I give it a little wiggle to seal the bottom. Now, if you would want a different shape, let it rest first for ten to 15 minutes and then you can form it into any shape you want. But in my case, this is already perfect. So now in step number five, our bread has to rest again before we can bake the bread the dough must rest a second time. Use one of those proving baskets or just use a bowl. If you use a bowl, simply lined it with a clean kitchen towel and then sprinkle some flour on top. If you use a proving basket like I do, just sprinkle some flour inside. In my experience, rye flour works better to sprinkle inside because it will get less sticky than with wheat flour. So there's definitely some difference between the flour you use. So if your bread dough happens to stick to the surface when you try to get it out, the next time, just try a different type of flour. What I also do is that I sprinkle, a little bit of flour on my bread and then kind of just softly massage it in just to make sure that there are no sticky spots on my surface. And then we put the bread into the basket and for that, we flip it. So make sure that the bottom is on top. That at the end when we flip it back onto the baking tray, that the bread is with the correct side up. Then again, you cover it with a clean kitchen towel and you put it in a warm place and you let it rest until it's almost doubled again, which usually takes for me more or less one hour. But as we discussed, this can take more time. This can take less time. So have an eye on it. And there is one simple test that can help you determine if your bread is ready to bake or not, which is what I call the poking test. To do this test, all you have to do is to poke the bread. And with poking I mean poking and not punching holes into the bread with your finger. So there's basically three stages that you can determine with the poking test. When it's too early to bake. When it's ready to bake and when it's almost too late. So let's assume you just formed your loaf. if you would poke it now. And this little dent would slowly come back out and disappear completely. And what this tells you is that the dough still needs a little bit more time to rise before it can bake. The second stage would be when you poke the dough, And the dent will very slowly maybe come out a little bit, but the dent will not disappear completely anymore. This means that your dough is ready and that it can go into the oven now. The third stage would be if your dent would not come out at all anymore and maybe some parts around the bread would also collapse when you make the dent. This means that your bread really needs to go into the oven immediately. It's already almost late and the dough has no more strength and it's about to collapse. So it if your dough ready behaves like this, make sure to put it in the oven as soon as possible. So to prepare for baking, preheat your oven and the baking tray to 250 degrees. And other temperatures. Again, you will find in the PDF, I usually use a setting that distributes the temperature from the dop and the bottom evenly. But other settings also work. So just work with what you have. Also place a small container that can handle the heat at the bottom of your oven. I usually use one of those little pizza pans that I have. And the reason we do this is because we want to create some steam once we start baking the bread. Some people also pour water directly at the bottom of the oven once they put the bread in. But from my experience, I wouldn't advise it because it's a lot to clean. So while your oven preheats, don't forget to check your bread regularly and just do the oking test to see how it's doing. During this second rise, it should almost double in size again. And once it's ready to take it out of the form what I usually do is I just wiggle it a little bit to make it easier to get out. And then I simply flip it on the preheated baking sheet that I lined with some parchment paper. Now we need to cut the surface of the bread with a sharp knife. And this will help you to control where the bread will crack during the rising. Now with your cuts, you can make some kind of different patterns. What I usually do is that I make one or two main cuts, like deeper ones that are about 1.5 to two centimeters deep. And then I make some additional decorative cuts which are a little bit less deep. I usually make them 0.5 to one centimeter deep. But if you need some more inspiration on how you can decorate your bread with cuts, make sure to check out Instagram because this is a fantastic resource for ideas. So now put your bread into the preheated oven. And before you close the lid, make sure to take a small glass of hot water and pour it into the container at the bottom. Then quickly close the lid to keep the steam inside. After about 15 minutes, open the door and little bit to let the steam out. And if you notice that there is still a lot of water in that form at the bottom, take it out as well. Now it's also time to reduce the temperature to 220 degrees and then bake it for another 30 to 35 minutes. So again, these times will depend greatly on your oven and your settings. So please do not rely for a 100% on my time suggestions always have an eye on your bread. And again, there is one very nice helpful trick to tell if your bread is ready. When you take your bread out of the oven and you flip it around and you tap on the bottom, it should sound hollow. If it sounds hollow, it's done. If it does not sound hollow, then put it back into the often for a few more minutes and then test it again. So if your bread has a nice color and it's crunchy and it passes the knocking test. You can take it out of the oven and then let it cool on a rack. So now the next step is my favorite part, but it's also the hardest part because now you need to wait until your bread has completely cooled down before you can cut it and eat it. If you're cut your bread too early, a lot of moisture will get out of your bread and it will get dry much quicker. So this step is really hard and the smell is hard to resist. Trust me, this waiting time is worth it. But as soon as your bread is cold, you can go ahead and taste it. And I can only recommend you to not immediately loaded with lots of toppings, but instead try a slice of plain bread. Because that way you will be able to tell if you need to change something. For example, if you need to use more or less salt, and if you immediately cover your bread with ham and mayonnaise, then you will not be able to tell. I hope that your first loaf of bread turned out well and that it tastes as good as it looks. So I would love to see your results and that would be very happy if you could post some pictures in the project section. And if you're bread did not turn out perfect the first time, then worry. That's normal too. Just simply try it again. And really if you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the question sections. And I'm happy to help us good as I can. And if you feel ready and up to the challenge then not it's time to bake sourdough bread. 7. The challenge: Sourdough bread: So baking a loaf of bread with sourdough is almost the same as we have done before. There's only one additional step at the beginning because this time we need to use the sourdough starter. And again, I would recommend you to just watch this class before you try it yourself. When you bake a sourdough bread, we will have two steps. The first step, we are making an active sourdough out of your starter. And in the second step, we're going to create the dough and make the bread. So let's go step-by-step. As a first step, you need to use the sourdough you just created to make an active starter. And this actually sounds much more complicated than it really is. What do you need? One spoonful of your sourdough starter, 100 grams of rye flour and 100 grams of water. So mix your ingredients together and put it in a warm place and let it rest for about six to eight hours. So especially towards the end of this waiting time, make sure to check here sourdough, there should be some kind of visible activity. For example, it should grow and there should be some bubbles. If nothing happens, then it could be that your sourdough is not active and that it is not suitable for baking. This could be, for example, if it hasn't been fed in long enough time and you're sourdough has died. So now after six to eight hours, your sourdough should be ready. And what I usually do is I take the big spoonful of sourdough away, put it in a small container and put it in the fridge. And this sourdough I keep for future baking. So when you want to bake some bread again in the future, just like we did right now. Take this one spoonful of sourdough and mix it with the what and the flower to create some active starter again. But you will need to bake regularly to keep your sourdough alive. If you do not bake every seven to ten days, you will need to feed your sourdough. And I will explain you how to keep your sourdough alive and how to take care of it in one of the next chapters of this course. And now it's time to make the dough. So for this bread you will need 170 grams of active sourdough, which you just made in the first step. 300 grams of rye flour, 200 grams of wheat or bread flour, 15 grams of salt, 300 millimeter lukewarm water, and optional some yeast. Wait a minute. We want to bake a sourdough bread, right? So why do I mention yeast here? Well, it's actually quite easy to explain. If your sourdough is very young, it may not be at full strength yet. The more often you feed your sourdough, and the more mature it gets, the stronger it will be. If you are baking with a young starter, I recommend you to add a little bit of yeast just to make sure that your bread rises properly. Once your sourdough gets stronger then you can skip the yeast altogether if you like. So as I mentioned before, in this lesson, I will no longer explain all the tips and tricks. I did that in detail when making the wheat bread in the last lesson. So if you skipped that lesson or cannot remember the basics anymore, and please go back and watch it again. So as a first step, we measure out all the ingredients and then we mix them together in a bowl. And again, make sure you get the right consistency from the start, as I explained in the last lesson, when you mix it, you want to form some lumps, but you still want a little bit of loose flour at the bottom. Because then once it becomes a dough, chances are high that the consistency will be right. But if not, then you can always add some more flour or some more water to your dough. So then knead that though for about five minutes. With this type of bread, you do not knead as much as we did with the wheat bread from the last lesson. Simply because we are using rye flour. And rye flour does not need that much kneading. So if you are making a bread with a higher percentage of wheat flour, you will need to increase your kneading time. And as I mentioned before, you can either use your hands or a food processor. So cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm place until the dough has roughly doubled. So for me again, this is usually more or less around two hours. But if you are using sourdough only this may take a lot more time. It's not impossible that it will take five or six hours instead of two. So then we're going to form a loaf again, like we saw in the last lesson. And then we're gonna put it into a proofing basket or into a bowl. So here we're going to have a second rise again. And like I mentioned before, if you use some yeast, it may be much faster than if you use sourdough only. And again, it should almost double in size before you can bake it. And like I showed you in the last lesson, simply use the poking test to determine if your dough is ready for baking or not. So preheat your oven and the baking tray again to 250 degrees. And again place a little form at the bottom that we can use to create the steam. And then again, we flip the bread onto the hot baking tray that we lined with some parchment paper. And then it's time to put it in the oven. and when you put it in don't forget to pour a little bit of hot water at the bottom to create the steam. And again, after about 15 minutes at 250 degrees, you open the door a little bit so the steam can get out. And if there's still a lot of water in that container at the bottom, take it out as well. And then you reduce the temperature to 220 degrees and let it bake for another 30 to 35 minutes. But again, don't take my times for granted and do the knocking test, like I explained to you in the last lesson. And don't forget to let your bread cool down completely before you cut it. So I hope that you are sourdough bread was a success. You may need one or two tries to really get the hang of it. But I'm sure you did great. And I would love to see your results and please feel free to post them in the project section of this class. And again, if you have any questions or anything did not go according to plan and you don't know what happened. And please feel free to post your questions. And I'm happy to help us good as I can. And next we're gonna talk about what you need to do to keep your sourdough alive. 8. Take care of your sourdough: So once you have a sourdough starter, you can use it for years if you take a little bit of care of it. My oldest sourdough, who I called grumpy, actually survived I think five years, thanks to great friends and family who took care of it when I was on vacation. And the sourdough is actually a big responsibility. It's almost like having kids or like having a pet... almost. So if you bake regularly, at the latest every seven to ten days, you don't need to take any extra care of your sourdough. Each time you make a bread and you finish the active starter, simply remove a little bit and put it away for future use. If you do not bake regularly, you will need to feed it approximately every seven to ten days. And feeding it is actually very easy. So each time you need to feed it, remove one spoonful of sourdough and put it in a bowl. If you have more than this one spoonful of old sourdough, you can either throw it away or reuse it. And at the end of the PDF, I give you a simple recipe for a cracker recipe that I make with leftover sourdough. But back to feeding your sourdough. You mix it with 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water, and then let it sit in a warm place for about six to ten hours. There should be again, some kind of activity. So it should grow and it should become bubbly. And after that, put it into the fridge until you either bake bread or the seven to Ten days are over and it's time to feed it again. 9. Let's experiment: So congratulations on getting so far in my course. I'm sure by now you have a good idea on what it takes to make a good bread. And now that you are a little bit more confident, it's time to experiment. In German, we have a saying "Übung macht den Meister", which basically means that practice makes perfect. And to avoid that things get boring, I have a few ideas for you that you can use to experiment. Because they're more breads you're going to bake the better you will get. You can add nuts and seeds to your bread. I really love breads for instance, with walnuts inside. And I often use sesame seeds or sunflower seeds, or flaxseeds in my bread. But there's one problem with nuts and seeds, and that is that they often, soak up a lot of water. And this can make your bread dry in the long run. So what do you can do to prevent that is that you soak your seeds and you are nuts in hot water before you add them to the dough. So what I usually do is that I put them in a bowl a few hours before I start baking or the night before. And then I cover them with hot water and just let them soak. And then I add them to the dough in the very beginning, when I add the flour and the water together for the first time. When you add those nuts that have been soaked in water, it's a little bit difficult to predict the amount of what you will need. So make sure to adjust that. And I know by now you already have the knowledge to figure out a good consistency of the dough. So in the worst case, just add some more flour or some water if necessary and you know how to adjust. You can also get creative with the fluid part of the dough. You do not necessarily have to use plain water all the time. You can also substitute parts of the water or other fluids. For example, you could use some sour cream or yogurt or milk or even coffee. Just make sure that you let it come to room temperature before you use it. You can also use vegetables like grated carrots or zucchinis, or even cooked and mashed potatoes. I count them as liquids because most of those vegetables contain a lot of water and they will influence the amount of fluid you need to add to your dough. For example, if you were to squeeze a zucchini, you would extract a lot of water. But don't squeeze them before you add them to your dough because this fluid from the zucchini will actually give it a lot of flavor. So you kind of have to substitute the amount of fluid you add with the zucchini. And you have to remember that most of this fluid from the zucchini will come out during the kneading part. So you really have to adjust in the beginning and if in doubt, then use a little bit less water in the beginning. You can also use beer or wine for your bread also tastes very good, especially dark beer. However, you should not replace the complete amount of fluid with alcohol because this can hinder the growth of your bread and the sourdough bacterias and the yeast. You can also add some herbs to your bread. For example, I really like bread with Rosemary. Or you can also enhance it with some ingredients like dried tomatoes or olives. So the more time you give your bread the better the flavor will be. And so you can also experiment with the timings. As I mentioned in class, you put your bread in a warm spot so it rises quicker. If the temperature is colder, it may take some more time to rise properly. But this is really something that you can use for your advantage once you get a little bit more skilled. For example, if you want to make your dough today, but you are running out of time today and you want to finish tomorrow, what you can do is either use less yeast or sourdough or you put it in the fridge to rise and then it will take a lot more time to finish. This also works with other types of doughs. For example, my pizza dough I live in the fridge for up to five days because the flavor intensifies a lot in that time. So the best time to put the bread into the fridge is during the first rise. And when you want to bake it, simply take it out and let it come back to room temperature. And then form a loaf and give it the second rice. So you can really keep it in the fridge for a few days if you use less yeast. But just make sure to have an eye on the dough that it does not collapse. Now, the next tip may sound a little bit odd, but it really gives a very nice flavor to your bread. If you have some old bread leftovers, you can reuse them in a new bread. However, the bread should not mold or have any other unwanted parts. It should just be dry bread. And then what I usually do is that I grind it in a blender and then I roast it in a hot pan. And then just like with nuts and seeds, it will suck up a lot of water. So I also add some boiling water to it and let it soak before I add it to the bread. But then again, you need to adjust a little bit the amount of fluids. I know this may sound strange, but this old and toasted bread really gives a nice flavor to your bread. And it's also much better than having to throw away your old and dry bread. So it's really a win-win situation. Another thing you can experiment with is decorating your bread. So apart from shaping it into different forms another easy way is to decorate it with different types of cuts. Just remember that the main cut should be a little bit deeper, like one to two centimeters and decorative cuts can be less deep. And if you need some inspiration for cutting your bread, checkout pictures on Google and Instagram, you can also sprinkle some ingredients like flaxseeds or oats or sesame seeds on top of your bread. And to make them stick, simply cover that dough surface a little bit with some water or some milk and then sprinkle them on top. If you don't like the pattern that the flower makes on top of the bread. When you use a proofing basket, what they can do is brush away a little bit of the flour before you bake the bread. And if you want to have a shiny crust, spray a little bit of water on the bread a few minutes before it's done baking. You can also use different forms to bake your bread. For example, you can use a pan with a lid, or you could use a square form. Or you can shape it into a long loaf or into small roles. Just make sure to adjust the baking times because smaller breads will obviously need less time. And if you are unsure if your bread is done, the knocking test also works on small breads. When you knock on the bottom and it sounds hollow, the bread is done. So if you start to make a lot of bread and you want to step up your game a little bit. It may be a good idea to get one of those baking stones. They are preheated in the oven and then you simply slide the bread onto the hot stone. And there are actually many advantages of doing this. For example, it gives instant heat and the moisture is able to evaporate through the stone, and that means it does not collect underneath the bread. And with a stone like this, you can also bake bread or pizza or other things on a grill. For example, I have a little gas girl, and then I simply preheat the stone on it. And it's very nice because people are usually very impressed with your cooking skills. So I have one last tip for you, which is very common with people who bake a lot, which is that you will start to freeze some of your bread. What I would recommend you in that case is that you replace a little bit of the fluid with either melted butter or some oil, like olive oil. Because usually when you cut the bread after it has been defrosted, it will form little crumbles. And if you add a little bit of oil or butter to the mixture, this helps with that. So I hope that this few tips will give you some inspiration and some ideas for your next breads. And I hope that you just take it from here and you start experimenting and testing. Because we've bread, you can really be extremely creative. And most of the time, it also gives a good result. 10. Thanks for watching: So congratulations, you made it to the end of the course. As I mentioned in the introduction, the topic today was a little bit different from what I would usually talk about. But I hope that you still liked it. And I hope that you found it useful. And I hope that you made fantastic bread. And if you did, please let me know, I would really love to see your results and please just post a picture in the project section. And as I've mentioned several times before, if you have any questions, please post them into the comments section and I will try to help us good as I can. Thank you very much for watching and I'll see you in the next class. Bye.