All-Purpose Flour Sourdough Bread

If you’re ready to attempt making freshly baked sourdough bread at home but feel intimidated by all the mixing method, hydration level, etc. This another basic and beginner-friendly sourdough bread recipe is for you.

As you already know, making sourdough bread is a two to three-day process, But it’s not a lot of work. Most of the time is spent letting the dough rest and rise.

What ingredients do you need to make this Basic Sourdough Bread?

All-Purpose Flour

For this recipe, I tried to use a local all-purpose flour that contains 12% protein. Therefore, I recommend that every time you buy new flour, please look at the nutritional facts to check the flour protein level.

All-purpose flour tends to produce a more tender crumb, but I realize that most of my sourdough bread recipe has all-purpose on it, and they can out fine. 😃

Sourdough bread recipes with All-purpose flour

Tips on gluten development

This basic recipe has high hydration, around 79%, and I know it isn’t easy to work with wet dough. Therefore, I will make a list below on how I develop the gluten in my dough.

  • I follow the Full Proof Baking dough gluten development technique. Performing dough stretching and folding can develop the gluten strength in your dough. You can watch her video here.
  • Because I only use a little bit of starter and the weather is getting colder (my kitchen temperature is around 19C to 20C), I just let my dough develop strength on its own with few rounds of stretching and folding. But if you use a lot of starters and your kitchen is warmer, your dough often needs more rounds of stretching and folding or other methods of gluten development.

Adding Salt in the Autolyse

I always add salt after the autolyse because this is what I learned from reading different recipes but for this recipe, I did an experiment of adding salt to my autolyse, instead of adding it to the final dough. I learned this method from Sune (Foodgeek) video experiment.

After doing this experiment, I realize that salt quickens my dough fermentation and tightens the gluten network. If it is your first time using this method too, please watch your dough and don’t let it over ferment.

I’ve made a video here to show my process. The caption is in Danish, but there is an English translation on the description box. 😊

If you have tried this recipe or any other recipe on my blog, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you!

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You will need:

For the starter

For the main dough

Procedure (video):

  1. Prepare your levain. Cover and leave at room temperature until it has risen, and a small portion passes the float test.
  2. Autolyse. In a large bowl, dissolve the starter with lukewarm water. Then add flour and salt. Mix all ingredients until they are combined, and no dry flour remains. Cover and leave to rest for 90 minutes.
  3. Room temperature bulk fermentation: We will perform: 1 set of the strong fold and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, 1 set of lamination and let the dough rest for 60 minutes, and 3 sets of coil fold and let the dough rest every 20 minutes. I advise you to watch the video tutorial here for visual guidance.
  4. Pre-shaping and bench rest. Turn the dough out onto a clean countertop. Using both your wet hands and bench scraper, shape the dough into a nice round by cupping and pulling it (without knocking too much air out) across the counter to create tension on the surface of the dough. Once you’re happy with the shape, let the dough rest on the countertop (uncovered) for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, line a round bowl or banneton basket with a towel and dust with rice flour or gluten-free flour.
  5. Final shaping (Batard): Lightly flour (don’t use rice flour) the entire surface of your dough ball and your countertop. With a bench scraper, gently flip the ball over. Stretch the bottom of your dough and fold in an upwards motion to the center. Then stretch and fold the right side over the left side and do the same to the right side. Finally, roll the dough from the bottom to the top and gently seal the sides and bottom. Then let the dough rest for 1 minute. This shaping technique takes practice; I advise watching my video tutorial here for visual guidance.
  6. Cold bulk fermentation: Lightly flour the top of the dough (use rice flour), then gently place it into the banneton with the seam facing up.  Then dust the top with some rice flour. Cover the prepared dough with a shower cap or put it into a plastic bag and close tightly with a clip or rubber band. Transfer to the fridge (4C or 39F) and rest for 20 hours.
  7. Baking in a preheated oven: Place a large dutch oven or cast iron bread pan with a lid (or you can also use a baking stone or baking steel) and preheat to 260 degrees Celcius (500F). Remove the dutch oven or cast iron pan from the oven and take the lid off. Be careful with this step since the dutch oven or cast iron pan is extremely hot.
  8. Place a piece of parchment paper over the banneton and flip it out onto a place or board, carefully removing the dough from the banneton.
  9. Use a sharp bread lame or razor blade cut deep to allow the bread to rise while baking. Move quickly and don’t be afraid to cut the bread. Then carefully and gently transfer the dough to your preheated pot, put the lid, place it in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 230 degrees Celsius (440F) and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and change the heat to 210 degrees Celcius (410F) and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Allow the bread to cool on a cooling rack for at the very least 2 hours before slicing it. Preferably let it cool for 4-12 hours for the best flavor, texture and to prevent the bread from being gummy.

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