This recipe is for one loaf of sourdough that will weigh about 1kg. You can double the recipe to make two loaves whilst the oven is on.
If you would like a copy of my Sourdough ebook with all the information you need about making and maintaining a sourdough starter, making and troubleshooting your loaf you can buy a copy here.
If you want to learn marabout making and maintaining a sourdough you can read the article here.
For the production sourdough:
25g refreshed starter
100g white stoneground flour
For the final dough:
225g production sourdough from above
500g white stoneground flour
10-14g sea salt
Make your production sourdough by mixing together the starter and the water and adding in the flour. Give it a really good stir and cover with clingfilm or a large bag. Leave at room temperature for 6-8 hours. It should be bubbly, have a honeycomb structure and smell sweet.
When your production starter is ready, add the flour and water for the final dough and mix well using a clawed hand, pulling and stretching the mass to make sure that you have dispersed the starter evenly. Cover and leave to rest for ten to thirty minutes. This gives the flour time to absorb the water and for gluten to start to make its networks. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and add 20g of water. Leave for ten minutes to give the salt chance to dissolve and then mix it well into the dough.
Use the stretch and fold method to develop the dough, leaving at least ten minutes between each round of stretches and folds (it’s better to give 20-30 mins between each fold). You want to do at least three rounds of stretch and fold to give your dough gluten strength, if you can sneak in another then that is a bonus. You can now pop in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 4-5 hours. If you can, give the dough a couple of folds in this time. This will add extra strength to the dough but isn’t absolutely necessary. Your dough should now have grown in size and have a good honeycomb structure.
Flour your work surface and scrape the dough carefully out of the bowl. Using the scraper, fold the dough from underneath over itself a few times and then pinch into a ball. Leave to rest for ten to twenty minutes. This is called bench rest and helps your dough relax ready to be shaped more tightly. Shape your dough and place into a proving basket or if you prefer free-form onto a well floured baking tray. Leave to prove for two to three hours. Try the finger indent test or place your hand gently on the top of the dough, it should feel uniformly light and airy.
Preheat your oven to 230℃ placing a baking tray in there to heat up (if you are using a dutch oven then place the dutch oven or casserole dish into the oven three-quarters of an hour before you are ready to bake). If you are using a proving basket, then tip the loaf onto a peel or upturned baking tray, slash with a sharp knife or razor blade. Slide your loaf onto the baking tray or into the dutch oven (if using the latter place the lid on top and don’t steam the oven). Spray the top of your loaf and the walls of the oven with water. Shut the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. If using a dutch oven remove the lid 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Cook until your loaf is a burnished brown. Cool your loaf on a wire rack until completely cool.
I have a few useful articles about using Dutch ovens. I show you how to bake bread in a Dutch oven and whether it is best to use a hot or cold Dutch oven to bake your bread.
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