How I Make My Sourdough
Anyone that is connected with me on Facebook or Instagram has likely seen the pictures of Sourdough bread that I post a couple times a week. I’ll go into the gear that I use for baking bread in a future post and how to get started with Sourdough bread.
You will need:
- Sourdough starter
- Kitchen scale
- Covered baking vessel (I use cast iron dutch oven)
- A dough knife
- Proofing bucket or larger container (I use a 10L foodgrade container)
- A forming basket (optional)
- Rice flour or corn meal (optional)
- A bread lahm, or razor, or very sharp knife
- A cooling rack
- Flour, Water, Salt
The best flour I have found for making Sourdough is King Arthur’s unbleached bread flour. There is a high gluten content in this flour that allows for the bread to hold together as it is fermenting and then formed, the higher protein content also translates into a more controlled fermentation of the sourdough, as some of the lower end flours (ultragrain) seem to have a carbohydrate composition that causes the fermentation to go too rapid and produce too much hooch, compared to nice flavor you get from a natural balance of the acetic acid (vinegar taste) and lactic acid (yogurt taste).
The following is my base methodology and was derived from the book Tartine bread by Chad Robertson.
- Take 650g of water and put it into a mixing bowl
- Also, take about 50g of sourdough starter
- 20g of salt
- Mix the starter and salt into the water, mix until mostly a consistent liquid with few pockets of starter
- Progressively add 1000g of flour to to the mix until totally consistent
- Depending on the starter and temperature of the house, additional flour may be needed. As a guideline too much hydration and you will not be able to form your bread, too little hydration and the bread will not develop a nice air pockets and a crispy crust on the outside. Chad Robertson suggests 75% hydration or 750g of water to 1000g of flour.
- Ferment in a large container for 12 to 24 hours (I usually do this on top of the refrigerator, in a 10L bucket)
- Form the loaf my rolling the outside of the bread under while scraping under the dough to create surface tension (see this video starting at 2:35)
- Flour the basket’s linen liner and place the bread top down
- If you do not have a basket allow the bread to rest covered with a towel on the work surface
- Preheat the over to 550f with the dutch oven in the oven, allow this to heat for 30mins (at least)
- Once preheated carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven sprinkle rice flour (or regular flour, or corn meal) on the bottom of the pan
- Dump the the dough out of the proofing into the dutch oven, return the cover and place in the oven
- Score the top of the bread with the lahm (or razor, or sharp knife)
- Bake for 30 minutes covered at 550f, remove cover
- Bake for 20 minutes uncovered at 450f
- Once complete baking is complete remove the bread from the dutch oven and onto a cooling rack