It’s a bold claim but having tried many sourdough recipes I combined several and some traditional techniques to create this recipe.
A dutch oven will really help the baking process as it helps to maintain a constant cooking temperature for the bread and the lid allows for the bread to steam whilst cooking so you don’t end up undercooked bread after putting in so much hard work.
Simple Sourdough Bread
- Proofing Basket
- Bench Scraper
- 500 g Strong white bread flour
- 300 ml Water Room temperature (Filtered or bottled water is best becuase the chlorine level is lower)
- 15 g Sel de guerande salt / Sea Salt
- 200 g Sourdough Starter A mature and active starter is always best
- 20 ml Olive oil
- Gently whisk 200g of your sourdough starter with 260ml of water (ideally room temperature). Then add 15g 'sel de guerande' salt (if you can't get your hands on this salt then just use 10g of a good quality sea salt)
- Add 500g white strong bread flour and fold to combine. At this point you don't want to overwork the dough so just bring it together until rough.
- Cover the dough with cling film and leave for 30 minutes to autolyse.
- It should be a lot smoother now! Add 20ml of good quality virgin olive oil. Keeping the dough in the bowl, grab a small section of the dough and stretch it upwards before pushing it back into the center of the dough. Then rotate the bowl slightly and repeat about 10 times until the oil is combined.
- Cover and leave for another 30 minutes.
- The dough should be starting to look nice and smooth. Lightly flour your worktop and empty the dough onto the surface.
- Stretch and fold the dough slowly to smooth out any remaining lumps of flour (about 3 minutes). Return the dough to the bowl and cover.
- Leave in the fridge overnight or for at least 12 hours. This will help the flavors to develop without risking over-proofing the dough.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and flour the surface and a proofing basket. I have started to just flour the basket without any lining and have been pleased with the results.
- Empty the dough onto the work surface, stretch the dough and let it fall into a letter fold (3 parts).
- Shape the dough, the idea of this is to create a smooth top surface to the dough with as much tension as possible. I do this by pushing a bench scraper underneath the dough whilst rotating. Transfer to the banneton.
- Leave for about 4-5 hours for the dough to come to room temperature, and double in size with the final proof.
- Preheat the oven to 250°C with a dutch oven and lid in the center of the oven.
- Cut a strip of parchment paper and quickly tip the dough onto the paper. Score a large cut down the side at an angle to allow the bread to rise. Place into the dutch oven with the lid on and cook in the oven for 32 minutes at 220°C
- Remove the lid to the dutch oven and leave to bake for a further 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 1.5 hours. Then cut it down the middle and enojy!
If you’ve tried this recipe please let us know! Sometimes baking doesn’t always go according to plan (and that’s okay!), if your loaf hasn’t worked, you might have a problem with your starter possibly not being active enough. As you get more confident and understand your starter more, you may wish to reduce the amount to 100g.