Saturday, April 25, 2020

Baking Sourdough Bread!

I'm back! Now, on to baking sourdough bread. There are a lot of different ways to do this. Different amounts of starter to use, different flours, different temperatures, different times. It's dizzying. I tried one with this famous YouTube guy, Joshua Weissman, and honestly, it was too much effort. I have work to do during the day and I can't babysit dough all the frickin' time. I also watched these guys, (Irish guy Patrick, and guitar rocker/baker/FoodGeek named Sune from Denmark) who are both oddly very soothing (unlike Joshua, who is AWESOME but makes me feel like I just drank three pots of coffee).

So yeah, I tried about four different methods, and settled on the method by Culinary Exploration. It's pretty low maintenance, once you get used to it. It's a 65% hydration dough, which gives a loaf with a crunchy crust, an airy but not too airy crumb, but nice and moist and not too dense. It seriously looks like it came from an artisan bakery.

I'm going to adapt his recipe to a two-loaf recipe, because honestly--if you're gonna go through the trouble, you might as well have two loaves to show for it. I stick one dough in the fridge so I can bake two days in a row, instead of baking them back to back to reduce the chance of having unwanted, uneaten stale bread, which would pain my gluten-filled heart.

You can also use that fridge dough for pizza, or foccacia, too. Just know they'll have a slight tang! 

Recipe for 2 loaves:

Total time: Approximately 7-8 hours, not including starter prep the night before

For starter:
100g starter (a full 1/3 cup of stirred down starter)
50g whole wheat flour
50 g unbleached white flour (total of about 3/4 cup of both flours)
98 g warm filtered water (scant 1/2 cup)

For loaves:
500g warmish filtered water (2 1/4 cups)
20g salt (about 3 slightly rounded teaspoons)
750g bread flour (5 1/2 cups). I do think bread flour, with higher protein content, works best here.
256g sourdough starter (a heaping 3/4 cup). I've put in more, like just over  full cup and it works okay but can have a tendency to overproof.

-flexible bench scraper
-banneton, about 9 inches round, or 10 inches for an oval OR a floured cloth napkins inside colanders
-Dutch oven OR big cookie sheet with a pan/ovenproof container on the side for water
-cooling rack
-bowls for mixing and such
-plastic bag (if you want to save one half of the dough to bake another day)
-parchment paper (this is optional, but using parchment to transfer dough to the Dutch oven/sheet really prevents your dough from being slapped down when you drop it onto the hot whatever)

A note about temp: You have to get used to baking according to your room temp, and your oven temp. My room temp is comfy warm. My oven runs hot so I change all these temps down by 25 degrees. You may need to go up to 500 degrees if you have a cool oven. It varies. It's good to have an oven thermometer. The experts have their own fancy proofers with temp settings.

1. Night before, 7-9 PM: mix your starter, flour and water thoroughly, and use a rubber band to mark it.  Leave out at room temp all night.

2. Day of baking, around 8 AM!
Your starter should have doubled or more by now.
Add your warm water and salt in a very large bowl. NO, the salt will not kill your starter. Promise. Dissolve salt, then add your starter and mix it up with your hands until it's pretty loosely distributed in the water.

3. Add your flour. Mix together with your hand. It's going to be a very shaggy, very wet dough. Do not underestimate the size of a bowl you'll need to mix this. USE A HUGE MIXING BOWL or you will have flour in your eardrums. Once it's pretty thoroughly mixed, scrape the dough off your hands (bench scraper works good here) and leave it all in the bowl, covered for one hour with plastic wrap or a plate. This gives your dough time for the flour to get fully hydrated.

4. After an hour, scrape out onto a clean surface. Cut in half with your bench scraper. With each half, gently pull and fold dough over three times, using a different edge each time. Use your bench scraper to gently push and twist around and around, tucking under the dough until it looks nice and round and smooth. I can't do this with my bare hands. Too sticky. I use the bench scraper to do this. DO NOT add flour! RESIST THE TEMPTATION. Place each nicely rounded dough into a separate medium-sized bowl, and cover with plastic wrap or a plate.

5. Cold proof for 4-5 hours at room temp. This part has varied with the little experience I have. If you overproof your dough, it won't rise much in the oven because it's risen so much outside. So I tend to keep to 4.5 hours at the most. If your place is hot, proof less. If cold, proof more OR use a warmed oven to speed the process.  If you've used more sourdough, proof less. If you're proofing in a glass bowl, you'll see gas bubbles forming in your dough and it'll spread and rise a bit. See photo, below.

6. Scrape out dough onto clean surface very, very gently. You don't want to punch it down, or knead or anything. You're going to save all that aeration that's occurred from this rise. Do several folds of your dough, about 4 total, one on each side. Use your bench scraper to get under each edge to grab it. Don't tear the dough! Pull gently and slowly, and it'll stretch and accommodate. Thoroughly flour your banneton, or napkin-lined colanders. Gently flour your dough (I like to use a little mini strainer with flour like this one) and lay it into your colander/banneton.

7. Last proof. This one goes for 1-2 hours. If you'd like to bake a fresh loaf tomorrow, put one into a plastic bag, tie it into a knot, and stick it in the fridge and skip the 1-2 hours of proofing. If you're going to bake today, and you want to have an easier time of scoring it for a pretty design, then proof at room temp for 1 hour, then stick in fridge (like the other loaf) in a plastic bag for 1 hour. It's easier to score with a cold "skin." Not necessary, though.

8. About 15 minutes before you're ready to bake, set your oven to 475 and place your Dutch oven in there. If you're going to use a cookie sheet, then you can preheat your cookie sheet too. Also preheat another oven proof container (a deep set 1/4 jelly roll sheet, for example, or brownie pan) for water. Heat a cup of water to near boiling in the microwave.

9. When it's time to bake, flip your dough gently onto a square piece of parchment paper. Flour the surface until it's covered. Using a very sharp paring knife or lame (fancy word for a razor blade) cut a deepish gash (about 1/3 inch deep) across the loaf, off center. Or make a fun design. You need the cut so the loaf can expand and spread and not be contained by the bread "skin" so-to-speak.

10. Put your loaf into the hot dutch oven and cover. Or, if using the cookie sheet/water method, put dough onto the hot cookie sheet, and add the water to the water pan. You will scream when the water hits the hot pan. It happens.

11. For the Dutch oven: set for 25 minutes. When it goes off, remove the lid to the Dutch oven, and drop the temp to 450. The loaf should look risen and blond. Set the timer for another 15 minutes.

12. For the cookie sheet method--check around 35 minutes. You're looking for a medium brown loaf with some darkness on the crust by your cut. Some like it darker, some lighter. But it should not look "blond." That is not baked enough. It might need a total of 40 minutes.

Remove, and let cool on a rack. Don't forget to turn your oven off, or you will be very sorry. Sometimes if you listen closely, you'll hear your crust "sing" by making crackly noises as the hot crust hits cooler air and contracts!

Next day baking: I heat my oven, take my dough out, score it, and bake it. I don't wait for it to come to room temp, and I don't let it proof again. Works just fine!

Good luck, bakers!

Photos, so as not to ruin the flow of the recipe above.

The dough after about 4.5 hours rise time. I think this was a little over-proofed. 

How floury my napkin/colander set up is

Thoroughly floured and ready to be scored

My husband scored our dough. He's got a good hand! 
This loaf was one where the dough stayed in the fridge overnight. 

The crumb texture on the overnight/fridge dough. Not bad! 

Another gorgeous loaf! This was a same day loaf. 

This crumb was airier. Both tasted about the same sourness (lightly sour), 
both super soft, chewy, and delicious. 


Deb Salisbury, Magic Seeker and Mantua-Maker said...

Yummy photos! Now I'm hungry, and no bread in sight. ;-)

Lydia Kang said...

Haha, thanks Deb!

Aqur Printing Jakarta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sherrie Petersen said...

The scoring on those loaves is amazing!

Parmit kaur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jatin Sethi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
meldaresearch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark Murata said...

Sourdough is the only safe bread for diabetics to eat. Something in the starter.

John Smith said...

Thank you for posting this amazing post and trick, keep continue writing these amazing tricky informative blog.Budapest Rentals

Term Paper Writing Services said...

Medical research paper writing services seekers have been on the rise lately since most learners need Medical Assignment Writing Services, medicine essay writing help and nursing essay writing services.

Term Paper Writing Services said...

There are many Online Coursework writing services and Help with Coursework Writing services to choose from for those stuck with their psychology coursework writing services and nursing coursework writing help services.

Term Paper Writing Services said...

Professional History Research Paper Services is very popular for students in search for history essay writing help services and history assignment writing services.

Term Paper Writing Services said...

Political science research paper writing help has become very popular among students seeking Political Science Writing Services and political science essay writing services.

Jessica Jones said...

I have visited to this website multiple times and every time for quality content and I find beneficial works for me so I would suggest please come to this website and get most fresh and unique content and take the chance from here. Thank you buddy. Assignment Help Melbourne

Raymond said...

Herpes is a serious and recurring disease which can't be cured through drugs or injections by the doctors but the best way to deal with Herpes is by taking natural herbs medicine for it,  I have read about DR NOGADU the great herbalist doctor who cure me from herpes  with his powerful herbal medicine.  i contacted him to know how he can help me and he told me never to worry that he will help me with the natural herbs from God! After 2 days of contacting him, he told me that the cure has been ready and he sent it to me via UPS SPEED POST and it got to me after 3 days! i used the medicine as he instructed me (MORNING and EVENING) and i was cured! It was really like a dream but i was  so happy! you should contact him for his herbal medicine because i am a living testimony and i was cured of herpes and his medicine is legit.  I sent him what he requested and he sent me his medicine which I took for 2 good weeks and today I am out here with a negative result. When I went for the test I was so happy after going through his medication. you can reach him through his email: or call/whatsapp number:+2347010627760 he will help you out.

oxo files said...

Thanks for what i was finding...

fullassignment said...

Do you need help in Essay Writing Service ? We give you the best Essay Writing Help . Also avail hefty discounts and amazing cash backs of up to 30%. 100% plagiarism free work and on time delivery.

FoodResearch said...

Thanks for writing this blog .We also help with a cost analysis of new product development consultants and food product development consultants for your specification and certification process of your product.

Selectmytutor said...

I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!
This post is really very impressive!
Private Tutors

Jimmy Walter said...

We are on an extremely fundamental level a get-together of Jaipur Escorts Agency shaped our own particular escort affiliations only two or three years back. I would recommend to each man of his word to result in these present circumstances city and go with the Mumbai escorts to zest up their sentimental connections. Celebritieescorts agency is pioneer Jaipur Escorts and has been into escort business from many years.

Jenifer said...

Our On-Time Delivery Assurance, permits understudies to have an affirmation of passing marks, as opposed to confronting accommodation issues and disappointment in the specific subject. Our My Assignment Help Services zone, offers a great assignment help arrangement alongside an idea fortifying module for the understudies, comparable to their neighborly costs. Our entryway permits the understudies to post in an assignment alongside its cutoff time and different prerequisites, from that point he can pick a date for accommodation demand , followed by on-line method of installment and affirmation of the assignment accommodation by our arbitrators. The understudy gets the assignment on the due date with all the necessities met comparable to greatness, bombing which we offer a 100 % reimbursement to the understudy. more- write my assignment

donnaj edwards said...

I got here much interesting stuff. The post is great! Thanks for sharing it! Water Activity Control in Bread

Okseoabhinav said...

Hi…this is abhinav here, the few months I am visiting and following you. What I really like about you is that your writing style. Please keep making such as information for us. Top CA Firm in India – AKGVG, Top CA in India.

Jessica Jones said...

I haven’t any word to appreciate this wonderful blogs and Really I am impressed from your many useful articles. The person who create this blog it was a great and very hard working human. thanks for shared this with everyone. Thank you for your amazing ideas sharing with us. university assignment help australia -
australia assignment -
auditing assignment

Joseff Welsh said...

Thanks for your article.please write on Custom 200ml dropper bottle boxes design elements.

Joseff Welsh said...

Mind blowing! Your wording is unique.Please write an article on essential oil wholesale boxes .Thanks again.

Okseoabhinav said...

Thank you very much for giving space to us to express our feeling and thoughts about above information. I think you will keep updating and changing these information time to time if there is need to change. revenue assurance audit delhi, company registration in delhi online , top chartered accountant firms in india, Top GST Consultant In India, business advisory consulting services in india, accounting services in delhi ncr.

Assignment help said...

My Assignment Help offers affordable and reliable assignment help to students across Australia. We will provide proper guidance related to the assignment and facility among the students. We provide 100% plagiarism free work and the task will be completed within the time limit.

abc assignment help said...

Here I am sharing a very useful resource for students looking for Python assignment help . Yes, it is a service which is providing all sort of assignment writing in various subjects like as: Electrical engineering assignment help, electronics assignment help, MATLAB assignment help, management assignment helps and many more.

Gaurav said...

India's Best CBSE, ICSE, State Boards School Syllabus mapped E Learning App for K-12 Students. This Learning App covers learning courses from Kindergarten to Class 12th which makes Concept Learning Effective and Easy Learning Experience. Download The APP Now.

Leather Net Shop said...

Interesting post thanks for share. Buy motorbike leather jacket with worldwide free shipping.
Motorbike Leather Jacket
Black Leather Jacket
Motorcycle Leather Jacket
Motogp Leather Jacket
motogp leather suits

Unknown said...

Thanks for your article. It was well written and I really enjoyed it. I also want to share some information to those who are looking for Online GST Registration Service In Delhi.
Then DigitalCA helps you to register your Company, manage your business, and legal compliance in Delhi Noida. Trade Mark Registration, ESI Registration, PF Registration, GEM Registration, Company Incorporation, GST Registration, Accounting, Import-Export Code

Joseff Welsh said...

This is a good strategy. Finding all types of packaging boxes and other packaging options under one roof helps buyers select everything without surfing much.
by: Custom Reed Diffuser Boxes

Sarah Winget said...

You can likewise comfort in the way that our writers are separately confirmed by us for their scholastic capabilities and expert norms. This implies that when you purchase custom assignment, you can be guaranteed that it is composed without any preparation and all the examination is unique. We implement an exceptionally severe enemy of duplication strategy with the goal that you get 100% without plagiarism material for your expositions and assignments. cheap assignment help , write my assignment

Smriti Anupam said...

I am a dietician and nutritionist in Dr Namita Nadar diet clinic. I also want to share some information to those who are looking for best dietitian in noida.
Then Dr Namita Nadar diet clinic helps you to Weight Loss/ Management, Toning & Sculpting, Resistance Training, Muscle Building, Mobility / Flexibility, Planning & Periodisation for Acting and TV Roles Speed, Strength and Power Development,Nutritional Advice.

Visit us at:-


amazing website, this is really some good quality content. loved the way you explained through words keep writing the best article