Last month I decided I would try baking sourdough bread, and to start, I wanted to make my own sourdough starter. I had read a lot of blogs, watch video tutorials, and take notes before I got the courage to bake my first sourdough bread.
This is my first sourdough bread recipe trial. I used my starter with rye and all-purpose flour, and I named her ‘Mathilde.’ 😃This recipe doesn’t require any shaping bannetons and dutch oven.
I followed the beginner sourdough bread recipe from the Bagvrk, and I am pretty happy with my first sourdough bread. 👍
I don’t have a banneton proofing basket and a dutch oven. So I need to improvise a little bit. 😃 I used my large deep bowl as my proofing basket and my oven-proof Pyrex pot for baking my sourdough bread. I also use rice flour for dusting the cloth and the parchment paper (because I was too afraid that my dough will stick to the pot). I also used my bread lame, which I bought online.
I recommend that you feed the starter at least 4 hours before you plan to make the bread. Remove and discard (or save) the rest of the existing starter and refresh it with new flour and new water.
Some basic tips to start with
- Good sourdough bread can only be made with a sourdough starter that is alive and bubbly. You need to take good care of your starter by refreshing it regularly. And if you do not use your starter often, you can store it in the fridge and refresh it once a week. If you don’t have a starter, please check out my simple sourdough starter recipe.
- If you want to get sourer in your sourdough, you can maintain your starter at a lower hydration level (more thick paste-like consistency). You can also want to try to achieve a longer, slower rise. This may mean you will need to create a cooler rather than a warmer environment. You can let the dough rise in the fridge.
- And to aim for less sour in your sourdough bread, maintain your starter at a higher hydration level (more yogurt consistency) and feed it more regularly. And you can also try to speed up proofing times.
- If you want to read more about the sourdough starter, you can visit my post here: MAKE YOUR OWN SOURDOUGH STARTER.
Quick tips and notes
- I followed the beginner sourdough bread recipe from the Bagvrk, and I am pretty happy with my first sourdough bread. 👍
- I recommend that you feed the starter at least 4 hours before you plan to make the bread.
- I keep my starter at 100% hydration, so this recipe is a very wet dough (80% hydration), so don’t freak out if your hands get a bit doughy. If you really want to get the open crumb, you need to use a higher hydration starter. Shaping this bread was incredibly difficult. The dough becomes very sticky and a little slacker.
- Your sourdough starter should pass the float test before using it in your dough. If it sinks, it is not ready to use and usually requires additional time.
- Use a dough or bench scraper to assist you when lifting, shaping, and transferring the dough.
- Don’t skip the autolyse step.
- Always wet your hands when working with your dough.
- Remember to flour your shaping basket before transferring your dough into it.
- Please always keep in mind that flours differ around the world. Yours may need more or less liquid than mine, just as your oven may behave differently from mine.
- Last but not the list, I am also a beginner at baking sourdough bread. Therefore, I am still learning every day.
For more visuals and guidance, please watch my new step-by-step YouTube video and follow my sourdough bread video journey.
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! 😊
You will need:
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 150 grams water, lukewarm
- 13 grams durum flour (optional, if you don’t have durum flour you can just use plain bread flour)
- 218 grams bread flour
- 5 g fine salt
- 1/2 tsp water, lukewarm
- rice flour, for dusting the proofing bowl
Autolyse: Evening before you go to bed
- Mix the water well with the two types of flour until the dough is even. Cover the bowl and leave it on the kitchen table for the next day.
- Feed your sourdough starter and let it sit again at room temperature until the next day.
- Ensure the starter is ready to bake by placing a spoonful of it in a glass of water. If it floats upstairs, it’s ready. If it sinks to the bottom, it should stand a little longer.
- When the sourdough is ready, you add the sourdough starter on top of your autolyse. Knead the dough until the sourdough is kneaded thoroughly and elastic. Replenish your starter with fresh flour and water, and store it according to preference.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic film and let it rest for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes
- Sprinkle the fine salt over the dough, add a teaspoon of water and knead the dough at low speed for a few minutes until the salt is well distributed in the dough.
- Pour the dough into the plastic tub (if you have one, otherwise a bowl), put the lid on or plastic film, and leave it at room temperature for 1 hour.
- First stretch and fold: Stretch all four sides and fold them over the dough. Cover the bowl or plastic tub and let the dough rest for 1 hour.
- Second stretch and fold: Perform another stretch and fold. Cover the bowl or plastic tub again and allow the dough to rest for another hour.
- Third stretch and fold: Perform the 3rd stretch and fold. Then turn the bucket so that the dough slides out onto the table. There should be no flour on the table. NOTES: You do not need to ‘punch down’ the dough; it will gently deflate as you fold and shape it.
- Stretch the four sides one by one and fold them over the dough. Do the same with the new corners.
- Turn the dough over, so the closure is down. Turn the dough over the table using your hand (dip it in a little flour if necessary) and your table scraper), gently cup the dough’s sides, and rotate it, using quarter turns in a circular motion. You can also pull it towards you to even out the shape. Repeat this process until you are happy with its appearance. NOTES: If using a scaper, try to hold the table scraper all the way down to the table while turning so that you do not cut into the dough.
- Sprinkle some flour on top of the bread and let the dough rest uncovered for 30 minutes.
Final shape and cold proof
- Line the raising basket or bowl with a cotton towel first. It is easier to get the dough into the pan later then sprinkle rice flour on it.
- Turn the dough over with the assembly/closure facing up. Pull the edges of the dough and collect them in the middle.
- Turn the dough with the assembly downwards over the table again using a hand and dough scraper. You can now see clear bubbles on the surface of the dough. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes so that the joint under the bread is better closed.
- Carefully place the bread into the raising basket or bowl with the assembly/closure facing up. If you think the assembly has opened too much, pull the bread’s edges toward the center.
- Cover the raising basket or bowl, preferably with a disposable bathing cap or plastic film so that it does not dry out.
- Let the dough rest for approx. 2 hours at room temperature. Meanwhile, cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit your baking pot’s size, leaving enough excess around the sides to remove the bread.
- Turn on the oven at 260 degrees Celcius (500F). Let the oven-proof pot heat up with the oven to keep it smoking hot.
- Remove the hot pot from the oven when the bread is ready. Carefully turn the bread over into the preheated baking paper sprinkled with rice flour.
- Remove the towel and cut it into the bread with a sharp knife, bread lame, or razor blade. Cut 1-2 cm deep.
- Transfer the dough into the hot pot and place the lid on. Please place it in the hot oven, turn the temperature down to 230 degrees Celcius (446F), and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and leave behind the bread for a further approx. 20 minutes until it is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapping below the bottom of it.
- Let your sourdough bread cool on a cooling rack for a couple of hours so that it is completely cooled before cutting into it.