Sourdough is a vegan bread, however it is not gluten-free. It's a naturally leavend bread that uses a 'starter' instead of commercial yeast.
For sourdough you need the three basic ingredients: strong white bread flour, water, and salt.
Many use different flours in their sourdough and experiment with different ones but as long as you adjust the amount of water accordingly, it will come out great. You can also add flavoring ingredients such as: seeds, nuts, herbs, chillies, cheese, and more.
Since sourdough does not use commerical yeast, a starter is needed for it to rise.
A starter is made with fermented flour and water mixture that contains wild yeast and bacteria.
Wild yeast gives more flavor than commerical yeast and it also does not contain any additives. It then helps the sourdough to have a tangy flavor and a somewhat chewy texture.
The two basic shapes of sourdough are: round (boule) and long (bâtard).
In order to make the long sourdough, before baking it place it in an oval-shaped ovenproof dish or a long, leaf-shaped basket that can hold the loaf.
For fancy patterns on your sourdough you will need a lame (an exceptionally sharp knife), but for simpler designs you don't need to buy one.
A tip to make the scored pattern stand out is to dust the loaf with flour using a small sieve.
If in any case that you do make an intricate pattern with your sourdough, balance it our with a big score on the side of the dough.
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