Learn how to make the traditional Sourdough Bread with this excellent recipe. Known for its great nutritional benefits and its tasty tangy flavours, this naturally leavened loaf is a healthy option for anyone looking for variety in their diet.
150g active starter
250g warm water, preferably filtered
25g olive oil
500g bread flour (not all-purpose flour)
10g fine sea salt
Fine ground cornmeal, for dusting
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Approx. 8 hours
During bulk rise, perform a series of ‘stretch & folds’ to strengthen the dough.
Step 1: Make the dough
Whisk active starter, water, and olive oil in a large bowl. Combine with the flour and salt. Place the mixture in a large bowl covered with a damp kitchen towel or a plate to stop it drying out (autolyse).
Step 2: Bulk Rise
Let rest in a warm spot to rise. The dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size.
The time may vary depending on the room temperature and environment. This can take anywhere from 3 -12 hours.
During bulk rise, you have the option to perform a series of ‘stretch & folds’ to strengthen the dough.
Step 3: Cut & Shape the Dough
Gently remove the dough from its bowl and on a lightly floured work surface, section it to make 2 loaves or leave it whole for a single loaf. Shape the dough into a smooth ball.
Step 4: Second Rise
Coat the bottom of your Dutch oven with cornmeal. Place the dough ball inside for a second shorter rise, about 30 minutes to 1 hour and cover with the lid of the pot or a damp cloth. The dough is ready when it is slightly puffy but not double in size.
Preheat your oven to 230ºC towards the tail end of the second rise.
Step 5: Score the Dough
Right before your bread goes into the oven, make a shallow slash about 2-3 inches long in the centre of the dough. Use a bread lame, sharp paring, or a small, serrated steak knife. The cut should be about 1/4-inch deep.
Step 6: Bake the Dough
Place the bread into the oven on the centre rack (lid on) and reduce the temperature to 200ºC. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake (uncovered) for an additional 40 minutes or until deep, golden brown.
Step 7: Degustation
Remove the bread from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.
Cutting it too early would result in a gummy texture!