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Basic Sourdough Bread

Basic Sourdough Bread

Ingredients:
Active Sourdough Starter
15g sourdough starter
50g bread flour
50g warm water

Dough Ingredients
100g active sourdough starter
350g warm water
10g fine sea salt
500g bread flour

Instructions:
Feed your Sourdough Starter
  • 12 hours before you plan to mix the dough, add the ingredients to make 100g of active sourdough starter to a clean jar. Stir until combined, loosely cover the jar and let the starter rise at room temperature. (The ingredients will create a total of 115 g active starter but some of it will stick to the sides of the jar during the transfer, so we are making a little more than needed.)
  • The sourdough starter is ready to use when it has doubled in size and there are plenty of bubbles on the surface and sides of the jar.
Make the Dough:
Mix the dough 
  • Transfer 100g of the active starter and 350 g water into a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir to distribute the starter evenly.
  • Add 500g bread flour and 10g sea salt to the bowl and use a stiff spatula or your hands to work the ingredients together until it forms a shaggy mass and there are no dry bits of flour left in the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for one hour at room temperature.

 Stretch and Fold: 

  • Wet your hand with a little water to prevent sticking.
  • Pick up the dough on one side and stretch it up and over itself.
  • Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat this step until you have turned the bowl a full circle.
  • The dough should form into a tight ball.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat the stretch and fold process three more time to help build volume in the final loaf.
Bulk Fermentation: 
Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 7-10 hours on your kitchen counter. The dough will have risen by about 50%, not doubled, when it is ready to shape.
(If the dough has doubled in size and/or is hard to shape, it may be over-proofed. Reduce the rising time on your next bake.)

 

Shape and Second Rise: 

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Shape the dough into a ball by pulling 4 sides of the dough into the middle of itself. Turn the dough over so that it is seam-side down. Use your hands to gently cup the dough, pulling and twisting towards yourself until it forms a tight skin on the outside.
  • Use your hands to gently cup the dough, pulling and twisting towards yourself until it forms a tight skin on the outside.
  • Centre the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, seam-side down. Use the parchment paper like a sling to lift the dough up and transfer it into a medium-sized bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 - 60 minutes.
  • Use your thumb to make an indentation in the dough about a ½ inch deep. If the indentation quickly springs back all the way, or almost all the way, it's under-proofed and still needs more time to rise.

Score and Bake: 

  • 30 minutes before you're ready to bake, preheat the oven (with the Dutch oven inside) to 232°C (450°F). Using long silicone gloves, carefully remove the hot Dutch oven and take the lid off.
  • Score the top of the dough with a razor or a sharp knife. Once again, use the parchment paper as a sling to lift the dough up and transfer it into the Dutch oven.
  • Place the lid on the Dutch oven, return it to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake an additional 25 - 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

(The internal temperature of the bread should be around 96-99°C (205-210°F) using a digital food thermometer)

Cool:
Transfer the baked bread to a cooling rack for 1-2 hours before slicing. The bread will continue to cook inside during this time. (If you slice into it too soon, it will result in a gummy loaf).

Store:
Keep the bread at room temperature, in a bread bag, wrapped in a kitchen towel or beeswax wrap. You can also store the bread, cut-side down, on a cutting board with a cake-stand top covering the bread. Do not refrigerate.

 

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