I have an experimentation problem. Whether it’s brewing, cooking or bread baking I rarely make the exact same recipe over and over. I’m always in the pantry looking for what new ingredient, spice or technique I can use for my next loaf of bread. It’s about time I rein myself in and go back to the basics and make a standard sourdough.
Schedule: I based this loaf off of my sourdough schedule.
Since this is a 100% naturally leavened bread, I created a levain with my sourdough starter that was last fed 24 hours prior. This levain provides enough for 2 loaves of bread, plus a little extra to keep your starter going.
30 minutes before mixing the levain and salt into the dough, I performed an autolyse by mixing the water and flour together.
Started at 7:30am with the following ingredients. Mix everything together and loosely cover and let it ferment for about 8 hours.
- 26g unfed sourdough starter (last feeding was 24 hours prior)
- 128g filtered water @ 85-90’F
- 102g Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
- 26g King Arthur whole wheat flour
- 446g Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
- 340g filtered water @ 90-95’F
- 108g levain
- 11g sea salt
After mixing the dough, I performed 4 stretch and folds within the first 2-4 hours. The dough fermented at room temperature (between 70-74’F) overnight.
Before proofing, I added some oats to the banneton and then put the loaf on top to proof. Doing this helps the topping adhere to the loaf so it doesn’t just fall off.
I baked the loaf in a preheated dutch oven at 450’F for 38 minutes covered, then removed the lid of the dutch oven and baked for an additional 14 minutes.
Part of the reason I wanted to do a standard, unadulterated, sourdough was to see just how sour my bread actually got. Let me tell you, this loaf is intense! It has a beautiful sour bite that isn’t too overpowering. This is in line with some of the more sour loaves I used to buy at the store.
I was a little scared that I might have fermented this a little too long since it didn’t want to hold together well at all when I moved it from the proofing basket into the dutch oven. Thankfully it rose very well in the oven. I do think I need to start shortening my bulk fermentation times now that it’s getting warmer, or start playing with bulk fermentation in the fridge.
This is going to make some amazing toast and sandwiches over the next few days!
My Baking Notes
- Ambient Temperature: 74’F
- Started autolyse @ 3:10pm
- Water temp: 90’F
- Dough was 84.5’F at autolyse
- Mixed @ 3:38pm
- Dough was 78’F after mixing
- 4 stretch and folds in first 4 hours
- Started proof @ 6:20am
- Preheated oven @ 8:25am
- Into oven @ 9:12am