Basic Sourdough Bread Recipe

Yield: 1 Sourdough Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 374g Bread Flour (King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, or All-Purpose Flour)
  • 79g Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur 100% Whole Grain Whole Wheat Flour)
  • 345g filtered water
  • 9g Sea Salt
  • 100g Levain/Sourdough Starter

Equipment

  • Digital Thermometer
  • Baking Scale
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Proofing Basket/Bowl
  • Scraper/mixing tool
  • Combo Cooker or Dutch Oven
  • Scoring Tool
  • Parchment Paper
  • Cutting Board
  • Cooling Rack

Levain/Starter Build - 8:30am

  • Measure out 110g of sourdough starter (you can discard the rest), and feed it with 110g water and 110g flour. Stir well and let it sit at room temperature.

Autolyse (Dough Preparation) - 11:00am

  • In a mixing bowl, mix together the bread flour, whole wheat flour and 320g room temperature filtered water (save 25g water for later).
  • Mix thoroughly until all the flour is hydrated.  Cover with a towel and let sit for 1 hour.

Mix - 12:00pm

  • Now it's time to mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Add the 9g Sea Salt, 25g room temperature filtered water, and 100g sourdough starter, or "levain."
  • Mix together and knead so that all the ingredients are properly distributed.  You may need to fold and knead the dough several times so that everything is mixed properly.
  • Once finished, cover again with a towel and leave it in the mixing bowl for bulk fermentation.  

Bulk Fermentation - 4 hours - ~12:30pm to 4:30pm

  • Leave the sourdough covered on a countertop at room temperature.  Ideal dough temperature is between 72-74°F.
  • Every 30 minutes, fold your dough four times.  To do so, grab the top end of the dough and fold it over to the bottom end.  Turn the bowl 180 degrees and repeat the fold.  Now, instead of top to bottom, repeat the folds but this time from side to side.  
  • Repeat these folds every 30 minutes for an hour and a half (three fold sessions).
  • Once you've finished three fold sessions, let the dough sit covered and untouched for the remainder of the 4 hours.  The longer you let it ferment, the more sour your finished sourdough loaf will be. 

Shaping - 4:45pm

  • Now your dough is ready to be shaped.  Dust your countertop with flour, and scrape your dough on top and shape it into a boule (round) shape.  To do so, stretch the dough lengthwise and fold it on itself.  Turn the dough and repeat the motion several times so that all the seams of the folds are on one side.
  • Grab a proofing basket or round bowl, and put your dough in it (seam side up).

Proofing - 5:00pm

  • Now with your dough resting in the proofing bowl or basket, cover with plastic wrap or a large ziploc bag to prevent it from drying out. 
  • Place the covered proofing bowl into the refrigerator and let it sit overnight.

Baking - 8:00am next day

  • To bake this sourdough bread we recommend using a Cast Iron Combo Cooker or Dutch Oven.
  • Place the cooker or dutch oven into your oven and preheat to 500°F.
  • Once it is fully preheated, let it sit for 1 hour.
  • While you are waiting for the oven to heat, you can take your dough out of the fridge and take off the plastic wrap.
  • Get a cutting board and put a piece of parchment paper on top of it.  Place the parchment paper and cutting board face down on top of the proofing basket.  All together, flip the proofing basket and cutting board so that the proofing basket is now on top.  Now carefully remove the proofing basket and your dough will now be sitting on top of the parchment paper on the cutting board.
  • Now, using a bread lame or scoring tool, carefully score the bread in whatever pattern you desire.  We normally recommend a large "X" on top of the boule, or one long curved stroke from end-to-end.
  • Once the oven is ready, after heating at 450°F for one hour, use an oven mitt to remove the cooker or dutch oven. 
  • Now carefully drag the parchment paper and dough into the cooker so it rests comfortably in the middle of the cooker.
  • Use an oven mitt to cover the cooker and place it back into the center of the oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Open the oven and take the top off of the cooker and let it rest on the other side of the oven rack.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cooker from the oven, and promptly remove the loaf to a cooling rack. 
  • Let the sourdough loaf sit for 1-2 hours before slicing.
  • Enjoy!