Sourdough Bread Loaf
Updated: May 29, 2020
Sourdough bread is one of my boyfriends favorite breads. This recipe was designed with the help of my friend Pahoua. When baking bread, you can easily adjust the levels of ingredients that you add into your dough by using bakers percentages. This recipe will yield one loaf of sourdough bread.
360 grams of All-Purpose Flour (I use King Arthur Flour)
20 grams of Wheat Flour (I use King Arthur Flour)
17 grams of Vital Wheat Gluten (Click here to see which one I use)
285 grams of Filtered Water (75-80 degrees)
65 grams of Sourdough Starter (Click here to see my recipe on sourdough starter)
Rice Flour for proofing
8 grams of Salt
For Starter Feeding:
10 g of Mature Starter
30 g of Flour (15 g of Wheat Flour + 15 g of AP Flour)
30 g of Filtered Water (75-80 degrees)
Special Tools needed:
Large Dutch Oven
Metric Bakers Scale (Click here to see which one I use)
Proofing Basket or Clean Bowl (Click here to see which ones I use)
Sourdough Bread requires a full day of prep work. I have written this recipe with a time table to help break down each step. This recipe will require you to spend a full day prepping your dough, and you will bake your bread the following day, in the morning.
(Refer to "Starter Feeding" ingredients)
You want to start off by feeding your mature starter. Your starter should be at least 6-7 days old before it is strong enough to leaven your bread. In a separate mason jar from the orginal starters "home" jar, place 10 grams of your mature starter. Then pour in your water and disolve your starter. Once your starter has disolved, go ahead and add in your flour and mix thoroughly. Now let your starter feed on the flour for at least 4 hours.
While your starter is feeding, we want to create our autolyse and prepare the dough. The autolyse phase of sourdough allows for the flour to fully absorb the water. This will give us a hydrated and soft dough. To prepare your autolyse, place your all-purpose flour, wheat flour, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a mixing bowl. Combine all your dry ingredients thoroughly, before you add in your water, then slowly combine your water. Once your dough has formed, let your dough rest for 1 hour.
At this time, your starter should have doubled in size and should be ready to use. You can test your starter by taking a small amount and putting it in a glass filled with water. If it floats, then your starter is ready to use. If it does not float, give your starter a bit more time to rise.
When your starter is ready, measure out 65 g of starter and pour it over your autolyse. Now gently combine your starter into your dough by pinching your dough. You can also do a few gentle fold to combine your starter into your dough, but do not knead your dough in a harsh manner. Once everything is combined, cover your dough with cling wrap and let it rest for 30 min. Anytime your dough is "resting", allow it to rest in a warm place. It should not be warmer than 85 degrees. I typically allow mine to rest in my unheated oven with the oven light on.
Now we will begin to do our folds after allowing the dough to rest for 30 min. Folds will be done every 30 min.
(1st Round of Folds)
Anytime we do folds, we want to make sure our hands are wet. Wet hands will ensure that the dough does not stick to our hands. I like to keep a bowl of filtered water near my work station at all times during this process. I can easily dip my hands into the water when needed.
Now we will begin our folds which will be done inside the same mixing bowl that the dough is resting in. To fold your dough, you want to work in a clockwise formation. Begin by picking one end of the dough up, and folding it on top of itself. Your folds should look something like this in clockwise formation.... 12:00 - 6:00, 3:00 - 9:00, 6:00 - 12:00, and 9:00 - 3:00. You want to do this a few times or until the dough has firmed up into a ball. Once you have done your first round of folds, let your dough rest covered, for another 30 min.
(2nd Round of Folds)
Repeat clockwise folds from the step above.
(3rd Round of Folds)
Repeat clockwise folds from the step above.
(4th Round of Folds)
Repeat clockwise folds from the step above.
Now we are ready to do our lamination. A lamination is when we spread our dough as thin as possible and then form it into a little ball. When we laminate our dough, we are developing gluten and also strengthening the dough. Your dough should not tear during this process. Make sure you are doing your lamination on a clean and sanitized surface. I would advise you to wet the surface area a bit with water so that your dough doesn't stick to the surface. You can also use a silicone mat if you would like. Click here to see the silicone mat that I use. Take you dough out and spread it as thin as possible onto your work surface. Then you want to fold it into thirds long ways, as if it was a paper letter, and then fold it into thirds again. Once again, this step can be confusing to learn from reading, so click here to see a video of someone who is demonstrating a successful lamination. This video is not mine, however I chose to use this video as it accurately demonstrates a lamination. Once you have done your lamination, transfer your ball of dough back into the square pyrex dish and let it rest for another 30 min, covered.
(1st Round of Coil Folds)
Now your dough should be smooth and almost silky. We want to do what is called a coil fold for the next two folds. For this folding technique, transfer your dough into a square pyrex glass dish. Once your dough has been transfered, you want to pick up your dough with both hands from the middle. both ends of your dough should be slightly spilling over your hands and the end closest to your body, should still be touching the dish. With the middle section still in the air, you want to tuck the end that is farthest from you, underneath. Your dough should look like a coil. You want to do this folding technique on all sides. I understand that this step can be confusing. If you would like a visual demonstration on how to do a coil fold, click here. This is not my video but I found that it is a great example of a coil fold. Once you have finished doing your coil folds on each side. Let your dough rest for another 30 min.
(2nd Round of Coil Folds)
Repeat coil folds from step above.
Now you are ready to preshape your dough. On a clean work surface, gently turn out your dough. With a dough scraper, gently push the side of your dough towards the center to form a ball like shape. This is just your preshape so dont worry too much about it being perfect. You dough will most likely flatten out but do not panic. We are just prepping it for the final shape and proofing stage. Once you have a circular shape, cover it with a clean tea towel and let it rest for 30 min.
We are almost done for the day. Now is when we do the final shaping. If you have a proofing basket then AMAZING! Use it! If not, no worries, we can make our own. Find a bowl that is just slightly bigger than your ball of dough. Your dough does most of its expanding in the oven so for this recipe, you want to find a bowl that is small so that your bread will hold its shape. Once you have found an appropriate bowl, take a tea towl and line the bowl with it. Then go ahead and take your rice flour and VERY generously flour the towel. You want to rub the flour into towel. Rice flour is very difficult to hydrate so this will help make sure that your dough doesn't stick to the towel. Once you have floured your towel thoroughly, you are ready to shape your dough.
Your dough may have flattened out while it was resting, this is completely ok. Take your dough scraper, and form it once again as you did during the preshape. You may see some bubbles in your dough, be sure to work as gently as possible so that you do not pop any of those precious bubbles. Once you have form your dough ball, place the dough ball with the seam side up, into your proofing basket/bowl. Then fold over the tea towel so that the dough is covered and place it into a plastic bag. I like to seal my plastic bag with a knot. Then go ahead and pop your dough into your refrigerator and let it finishing proofing in the fridge overnight.
The Next Morning (Anytime between 8:00 am - 11:00 pm)
Preheat your oven with your dutch oven & lid, one hour prior to baking. You want to preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Once your oven has finished preheating for one hour, you are ready to place your dough into your dutch oven. To avoid getting burned, I advise you to create a sling with parchment paper so that you can easily lower your bread dough into your dutch oven. To do this, cut a piece of parchment paper and place it over your bowl or proofing basket. Then very gently, turn out your firm dough onto the parchment paper. You can score your bread and make a pretty design using a lame if you would like. Once you are ready to bake, take out your dutch oven carefully, and remove the lid. Lower your dough into your dutch oven using a your parchment sling, then close your dutch oven with the lid, and place it into your oven for 20 min.
After 20 min, remove the lid of your dutch oven, and drop the temperature of your oven to 450 degrees. Continue baking for another 20-25 min. Towards the end of your baking time, you can check your bread and see if it has reached your desired golden color.
Once your bread has finished baking, let it cool down completely before you cut into it. This will ensure that your bread will not dry out in the days to come. I promise you, once you successfully make this recipe you will be so satisfied. Patients is key when baking homemade bread!