Is there anything as heavenly as fresh-baked bread. This recipe is my favorite and blends of regular flour, whole wheat, and rye.
You may think making artisan sourdough bread is something only master bakers can do, but I tell you it's not the case! The very first loaf I baked was delicious. It's not a quick process and there's lots of rest time, but I tell you, it's worth the wait!
Here's the process and ingredients I use weekly to make fresh, homemade sourdough bread.
Pour 260 grams of water into a large bowl. Choose a bowl that has a lid if you have one. We’ll be proofing the dough in this same bowl.
Add 100 grams of your starter into the bowl and mix well.
Add 150 grams of bread flour + 100 grams of whole wheat + 100 grams of rye flour to the bowl. If you want a lighter bread, you can do 200 grams of bread flour + 75 grams of whole wheat + 75 grams of rye flour.
Mix all the ingredients well so that the flour has completely absorbed the liquid. Then, cover with a towel and let rest on the counter for one hour. This is called autolyse and is when the magic of sourdough starts to happen. Don't skip this 60-minute rest!
Sprinkle .5 tbsp of salt over your dough mixture and get ready to fold!
Get your hands wet (this will keep the dough from sticking to them) and lift one corner of the dough and fold it over the rest. Repeat this step 5-6 times to combine the salt with the dough.
Then allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Then get your hands wet again and fold the dough 5-6 more times.
Repeat this step 5-6 times, allowing for 30 minutes of rest in between each fold. This helps build the gluten.
After the sixth turn, allow the dough to rest on the counter for 2-3 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. I've found that the extra time on the counter gives the bread a seriously nice rise!
Then, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 12-17 hours. The long rest really improves the texture and flavor of the bread.
Take your sourdough out of the fridge. There should be some nice big bubbles just under the surface.
Gently scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Still working gently as to not pop all the bubbles, roll the dough into a nice, round ball and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes. This is called the bench rest.
After 30 minutes, the dough will start to flatten out. Gently roll it again into a ball that is nice and taught, but stopping before it starts to break apart.
Using either a floured banneton (shaping bowl) or a large bowl with a kitchen towel dusted with flour, place the ball of dough, top side down, in the bowl. The bottom of the loaf should be facing up because we will be inverting it later. Dust the bottom with flour, cover with a towel, and return to the fridge for 3-4 hours.
About 45 minutes before your ready to take the dough out, turn on your oven to 500℉ and place a Dutch Oven with lid on inside the oven to preheat.
The reason a Dutch oven works so well for baking sourdough is that it mimics commercial steam ovens. It traps the steam while the dough bakes, creating a beautiful crust.
When your dough is done resting, take it out of the fridge and gently dump it onto a sheet of parchment paper.
Dust the top of the dough with flour and score the top with 4-6 large, deep gashes. This allows steam to escape during baking so that the dome comes out nice and round.
Take your VERY HOT D.O. out of the oven, remove the lid, and gently lower the sourdough on the parchment inside. You may need to re-score the top of your dough if the slits closed up.
Replace cover and put the D.O. back in the over. Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and back for another 15 minutes. If you notice our bread getting too dark on top, you can always lower the oven temp to 450℉.
Remove to a cooling rack and let rest for at least one hour. It's sooo tempting to cut into it right away, but you'll let the steam out. It's worth the wait! Enjoy!
Serving Size 1 Loaf