Baking sourdough might be difficult for some of us especially the beginners, but baking sourdough bread inside an Ooni Pizza Oven makes a huge difference and makes it easier.
There are certain steps and factors that differentiate sourdough from normal bread dough. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish but when you know the process, you will see how much they differ.
But, we are not here to compare sourdough and normal bread dough. We are here to see how you can cook sourdough in one of the most amazing ovens in the world, Ooni Pizza Oven.
There are a lot of pizza ovens that can be used from Ooni. They produce amazing ovens that can reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for Neapolitan pizzas.
So in case, you are with us and you are also wondering whether or not it will do good to bake sourdough in ovens like the ones that Ooni produces, then stick with us as we discover the results.
In this post, we used the large Ooni Pro to bake the sourdough bread in. It produced the right temperature for the sourdough bread to rise properly and we have a step-by-step guide for you.
Here, we are sure that you can use the same recipe in another model from Ooni. All of their pizza ovens are able to reach the maximum temperature for this type of recipe so you can use any.
There are also other factors that we considered when we made our own sourdough bread in the Ooni Pro. so if you want to know those along with some tips, keep on reading this post.
What is Sourdough Bread?
Assuming you have your dough ready, you can skip to the next steps for this guide. Sourdough is a very different kind of dough compared to normal bread dough.
It has a unique taste when cooked and it requires more time for it to rise. See, sourdough bread does not use yeast or at least it does not require it for it to rise properly.
Sourdough uses a starter dough to create the fermentation process. It is then allowed to rest at room temperature so it catches the wild yeast found in the air all around us.
This process of letting the dough ferment without the help of too many artificial ingredients gives the unique taste of the sourdough. It becomes tangy and, as the name suggests, sour when baked.
Proofing sourdough is also a bit different than most doughs. There are two proofing stages for a sourdough bread to fully attain the desired size and consistency of the dough.
First, after mixing the main ingredients of the dough, which are flour, starter dough, water, and salt, you need to let the dough sit at room temperature for the initial proofing process.
The next proofing already involves heat. Sourdough does not use a lot of water so it needs to be heated a little bit in order for the sourdough to rise properly.
Letting it sit in the oven for a few minutes at a low temperature will do the trick. Just enough for the dough to double its size and not over-risen which is when it has extracted all its rising power.
From there, you can cook the sourdough completely in the Ooni Pro. Sourdough needs a lot of oven spring which the Ooni Pro can produce so just follow these steps.
Preheat the Ooni Pro
One secret of the Ooni Pro is that it already has its own baking stone. This is a huge advantage when you want to bake almost anything as the baking stone helps in absorbing moisture.
You will need to preheat the Ooni Pro ahead of time before even preparing the sourdough. The baking stone will take a few minutes to preheat and create an oven spring so fire up the oven first.
Use any kind of wood that you want for fuel and the Ooni Pro will take care of the rest. It has the perfect chimney that allows proper ventilation and distribution of heat in the interior of the oven.
The pizza stone will also help even out the heat in the oven. As the stone heats up, it creates a very hot surrounding with a balanced temperature which is perfect for baking.
Prepare the Sourdough
The Ooni Pro is a large pizza oven but the sourdough will still rise inside it which means that you are going to need a lot of space. So divide the dough into 400-gram balls for the next step.
From there, flatten the dough ball and then tuck them in to make some sort of a rolled dough. Keep the ends tucked in the middle and then pat the sides of the dough to make it firm.
Next, get a knife and then score each of the dough. Scoring is very important because the sourdough bread will rise quickly so you need to make leeway for when it starts to expand.
Sourdough is also a bit hard to rise without the score. It needs space for the bubbles to get out of the dough and then let the bread itself expand before the outer parts burn.
Do not hold back when scoring the sourdough. See, a shallow score will only widen but the bubbles on the sourdough will remain inside instead of going out, resulting in flat sourdough bread.
That is why you need to make the scores deep. At least half an inch deep into the sourdough will be enough for scoring and it should break when the sourdough is baked.
Transferring the Sourdough
Once the Ooni Pro has reached 500 degrees Fahrenheit, transfer the sourdough from your workspace to the pizza oven properly. You can put two of the sourdough in the Ooni Pro to make space for rising.
Use cookie sheets or parchment paper and place them under the dough. If you do not have one, just flour a pizza peel and then carefully slide the sourdough into the oven by jolting the pizza peel.
Make sure not to place the sourdough all the way to the back of the oven. Keep them close to the door so that the other end of the sourdough will not get burned by the flames at the back.
Baking the Sourdough
Close the door of the Ooni Pro as well as the lever in the chimney and then put the chimney cap on. This will create convection that will cook the sourdough from all sides including the bottom.
Let the sourdough bake at a consistent 500 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and then remove the parchment paper or cookie sheets after ten minutes. This is so you can turn the sourdough easily.
So after ten minutes, your sourdough should look pale but the outer parts would have already hardened a bit. The end of the bread closest to the fire should have a nice brown color.
Turn the bread 180 degrees and then let it bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. If after 5 minutes the sourdough bread has not reached the desired color, then leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Once the top of the bread has turned into a nice golden brown color, you can remove the sourdough bread from the oven and then set up the other batches.
Repeat the process and you will be having perfect sourdough bread in just 20 minutes. The outside crust of the sourdough bread should be crunchy and the inside should be spongy and soft.
Sourdough bread is best paired with flavors that can cancel out the sourness if you do not want that taste. Having a sandwich with strong-flavored sauces or zest from lime will help improve the taste.
So cut up the sourdough bread and then place it beside the food that you prefer having with it. Letting it rest for a few minutes will also be good but serving it while it is still warm is better.
Ooni produces amazing pizza ovens that no other brands can match. The Ooni Pro is one of their best models and it produces enough heat for the sourdough bread recipe.
The temperature that we used for the sourdough bread is only about half of the maximum temperature of the Ooni Pro. So you can definitely go higher if you want to.
Sourdough does require a lot of oven spring but cooking it at just under 500 degrees Fahrenheit is better so you can peak into the oven and see whether or not the bread is cooked properly.
Baking sourdough is a little bit different compared to normal doughs because it requires more rising. However, all the time and effort is very worth it when the sourdough bread comes out perfectly.
It has a nice tangy and sour combination of flavor that is perfect for sandwiches and other recipes. So start your baking process now with a starter dough and any Ooni pizza oven that you have!
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