All you knead to know about making the sourdough perfect loaf
All you knead to know is kneading isn’t a thing with sourdough so all that time wrestling and slapping yeast bread around - forget it! Sourdough doesn’t knead it (ok ok, I’ll stop with the puns now).
Having said that - there is a process for making your way to the perfect sourdough bread. Small tasks but done over the course of a day, so you will really need to pick a day you are going to be staying at home to get going on your loaf.
With sourdough it's all about folding to strengthen the dough rather than kneading. Taking a minute or so to make a few folds every half hour or hour (depending on your recipe) over the course of 2 to 3 hours is what is needed. Which, when you get into the swing of it is very manageable.
Resting the dough and allowing it to do its thing naturally is the name of the game here and when done properly you are left with a loaf of bread that is so flavourful and delicious you’ll wonder why you haven’t been eating sourdough your whole life!
You’ll need to spend 5 mins the night before you intend to make your loaf preparing what's called the leaven, mixing flour and water with about a tablespoon of your starter - this is essentially giving the starter a big feed allowing it to become super active and strong overnight. The next day you will work your way through the autolyse stage, folding stage, proving and ultimately baking your perfect loaf. A recipe that really helped me with a lovely sourdough loaf that has a great layout of instructions can be found here: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-sourdough-bread-224367