First of all - and just to put everyone mind at rest - there is no such thing as true sourdough bread that's 'quick' or can be made without a sourdough starter. Yes, you can make sourdough bread without a starter, for example, San Francisco Sourdough Bread. This bread is made from 'scratch' without 'starter', but it takes about seven days to make as you gradually increase the amount of fermenting dough. The flavour is amazing, and it's certainly worth making an effort to make this bread. So, whilst made without a sourdough starter, it's certainly not quick!
Well, the only thing you can do is to make a cheaters sourdough bread. A bread that will resemble the taste of sourdough, but won't take that long to make. The trade-off here is that you will need to use commercially produced yeast in this bread.
Whilst I love the traditional way of making sourdough bread, I do often make this style of bread too. The flavour is very close to the traditional sourdough bread with caraway seeds adding extra earthiness to the bread. Because we'll be using normal yeast in this bread, you won't get those lovely air bubbles and holes that you'd normally get in traditional sourdough. The commercial yeast makes the distribution of air pockets much neater, and they appear smaller.
To make the sourdough flavour, I'm using yoghurt, vinegar and caraway seeds to react together to give me that slightly sour tangy flavour.
You can also add discarded sourdough starter if you had any (but I'm assuming you won't, so I've not added it in this recipe).
Here is the basic recipe for quick sourdough bread without a starter.
400g strong white bread flour
100g rye flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
100ml yoghurt (full-fat Greek yoghurt is best, but any will do)
200 - 230 ml of water
1 - 2 teaspoon of caraway seeds (optional)
1-2 teaspoons of vinegar (any)
1 sachet of dried fast-acting yeast (7g or 1 1/2 teaspoon of dried fast acting yeast)
Weigh all dry ingredients together and add them to a large mixing bowl. Mix water, vinegar and yoghurt together and add to the dry mixture. Stir initially with a wooden spoon, then turn on to a clean kitchen surface and start kneading.
Knead the bread for at least 10 minutes to make sure the gluten is nicely woken up and developed. The dough should be elastic and smooth.
Leave in a bowl covered with a tea towel to double in size. This might take anything up to 45-60 minutes, depending on your room temperature.
Once risen, shape your dough into the final shape and leave to prove once more. I use prooving baskets for this bread, because of their traditional look and because you get a better crust.
Once doubled in size (this time it will take it shorter time for the dough to rise) turn carefully on to the baking tray, cut the top of the bread with a sharp serrated knife and put straightaway to a preheated oven. The bread should go into a very hot oven. I usually preheat my fan assisted oven to 250 C, but whatever the highest setting on your oven is, will be just fine.
After the first 10 min, turn the oven down a little, to about 220C. This really depends on how brown you want your bread to be.
Carry on baking for another 20 min or so, then check if your bread is ready by knocking on the bottom of the bread. If the bread sounds hollow, it's done, if not add it in for another 5 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
This bread is great with just butter and cheese. You can also freeze this bread easily and eat within three months or so.
Until next time - happy baking!