My Sourdough Bread Recipe
The world will have to take yet another sourdough bread recipe.
How I Make Sourdough Bread
Setting up a schedule
I find that the organising time you put into making a sourdough bread is yet another challenge on the making of these marvelous pieces of bakery. Once I got my head around the best schedule to bake I have created alarms for each step so it is easy to follow up.
I like to bake in the early morning for breakfast so my routine starts on the morning before, feeding my levain at around 10am. This way I can bake any day of the week as the dough work is always after work hours. I start mixing the flour and water for autolyse at around 8.5 - 9 hours after feeding my levain as its peak is reached around 9 hours after being fed. You can adjust this easily based on your levain’s cycle. Once I start the mixing I’m pretty much kitchen bound up until almost midnight, when I do my final shaping. I find that for my recipe 6 rounds of stretching and folding work better, with a 30 minutes rest in between each round.
I then leave my dough proofing in the fridge until the next morning, I wake up anytime between 5.30am - 6am and turn on the oven. I only take the dough out of the fridge when I place it into the cast iron pot so it gets around 7 hours of proofing. I have been having a good rising with this time but have tested less hours previously with good results as well.
I keep all my alarms set and if I bake on a different day I just change the day of the week when they’re set
- 410g strong bread flour
- 90g wholemeal wheat flour
- 355g water at 40 degrees celsius
- 150g levain
- 12g salt
Mixing the ingredient
Mix 315g of the water with both flours. Mix until it becomes a more homogeneous ball and leave it to rest for 35 minutes. This is the autolyse.
On another container mix the other 40g of water with the salt and once autolyse is done add it to the dough as well as the levain. Mix them all well until all is absorbed by the dough, feeling like an homogeneous shaggy dough ball. Once that’s done leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
Stretch and fold
After 30 minutes do the first round (out of 6) of streching and folding of the dough. This will create gluten and the nice air pockets you’ll later on enjoy on the bread. Do each round of stretching every 30 minutes.
30 minutes after the last folding put the dough on the counter and start shaping it, creating tension on the gluten at the top of the dough. Don’t over do it! Once the ball seems right leave it resting in the counter for 20 minutes. It should spread a bit but not too much.
Once that’s done turn it around and do the final shaping, folding it over itself to create a boule shape. Once folded do a bit more of shaping to assure the tension on the dough and put it in the proofing basket once you’re happy with it.
Put it in the fridge and leave it overnight (7 hours) to bake first thing in the morning.
Pre-heat the oven at 260 degrees celsius - put your cast iron pot in the oven and leave it to heat for 30 minutes. Once ready, put the dough in the pot and score it. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes for the spring oven.
After that, take off the lid of the pot and lower the oven temperature to 230 degrees. Leave the bread in for 25 minutes more or as much as it works for you to get it to a nice brown tone.
Now just leave it at the counter cooling for some 45 minutes - 1 hour and enjoy taking tonnes of photos of it! :)