Beginner Sourdough Loaf
Servings 1 Loaf
- 100 grams active and bubbly sourdough starter
- 350 grams water
- 500 grams bread flour
- 10 grams kosher salt
Feed Your Starter:
- The night before, take your sourdough starter out of the fridge and feed it at a 1:1:1 ratio (equal parts starter, flour, and water).
- Leave it on the counter and wait for it to double in size, indicating it's at its peak for leavening.(I usually feed it at 11pm and use at 7am)
Mixing and Autolyse:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the active starter with the water.
- Add in flour and salt, stirring until just combined. This initial mix is referred to as autolyse and allows the flour to fully hydrate before kneading. The dough will appear shaggy initially, and that's normal. It will come together better during the stretch and fold process.
- Allow the dough to rest for an hour before starting the stretch and folds.
Stretch and Folds:
- To stretch and fold reach underneath one side of the dough. Gently pull it up and fold it over the center. Rotate the bowl and repeat for each side. This helps build gluten strength.Repeat for all four sides of the dough. Repeat the stretch and fold process 30 minutes four times in total.
- Let the dough sit at room temperature for 6-8 hours, covered with a damp cloth.
- Observe the dough's rise and watch for signs of readiness, The dough's fermentation time depends on your room temperature. Warmer environments may require less time, while cooler environments may need more. Look for an almost double increase in size.
- To shape the dough into a ball, start by lightly patting the fermented dough into a rectangular shape on a floured surface. Fold the top and bottom edges of the rectangle towards the center, creating a log shape. Then, gently roll the dough from one end to the other, tucking the edges underneath to form a ball.
- Cup your hands around the dough and gently rotate it in a circular motion on the floured surface. This helps to create tension on the surface.
- Place the shaped dough into a floured banneton, seam side down.
- Let the dough cold ferment in the floured banneton in the refrigerator, covered with a towel for 12-24 hours (overnight.)
- Preheat your Dutch oven in a 500°F oven.
- Gently transfer the cold-fermented dough onto parchment paper.
- Sprinkle with flour and score the dough with a sharp blade, creating quick, confident cuts. Scoring helps control expansion during baking.
- Turn the oven heat down to 450°F.
- Bake covered with the lid for the first 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue baking uncovered for an additional 20 minutes, keeping a close eye to prevent burning.
- Allow the freshly baked loaf to cool for an hour before slicing.