Here is a running list of all things needed for sourdough baking. You'll have a lot of these items in your kitchen already. If you need more detailed info, watch my first attempt at a facebook live video here:
Pyrex Measuring cup or Mason Jar
Whole Wheat Flour
Room Temp Water
- Measure out equal parts white and whole wheat flour into your tupperware container with as much 50/50 flour mix as it can hold. I would recommend 200-400 grams total. Set aside.
- In grams, measure the weight of your container that will be holding your starter. My pyrex weighed 598g so 638g (598+40) is the number I need to remember. Write down your number in an accessible place; I usually type it in a note in my phone. This number is important because each day we discard enough of our starter so that there are only 40 grams left in the container. Taking note of the total weight makes it super easy for your feedings.
- Place 40g of your flour mixture and 40g of room temperature water into your container. Mix thoroughly, cover loosly with plastic wrap, and set in a cool dark place for 2-3 days.
Feeding Your Starter
Ideally, you will do each feeding about the same time every day. When your starter begins to rise and fall (increasing and decreasing in volume) consistently a few hours after feeding, you may want to increase to feedings 2x daily.
Pre-mixed 50/50 Flour
Clear Jar w/Starter
Room Temp Water
- Give your starter a good stir, mixing everything together and deflating all of your bubbles.
- Turn on your scale and weigh your starter. Discard enough so that you reach the desired weight of your container + starter that you calculated when you created your starter. Mine needs to decrease to 638g.
- After you have discarded enough to reach your desired weight, zero out your scale and add 40g 50/50 flour mix and 40g room temperature water.
- Stir thoroughly, cover, and check back in a few hours.
- Repeat daily
Creating Your Leaven
The night before you plan to bake you need to create your leaven, which is an offshoot of your starter. Its a low concentration of yeast and a high concentration of flour and water, which results in bread with a mildly delicious sourdough flavor.
Large Clear Container
50/50 Flour Mix
1 T Mature Starter
- Place container on scale and add 1T of mature starter.
- Zero out scale and add 200g 50/50 Flour Mix & 200g room temperature water.
- Mix thoroughly, lightly cover, and let develop overnight.
- The next morning, your leaven should be very active and be doubled in size. One way to tell if it is ready to use is if a small bit of it floats in water. If it doesn't float, put in a warm place (laundry room with dryer on, or oven with oven light on) for 45 minutes.
Mixing Dough & Forming Loaves
This takes a bit of practice. I have found it to be theraputic, and each time gets easier.
Dutch Oven or Combo Cooker
900g White Flour
100g Wheat Flour
700g + 50g Water
Stage 1 | AUTOLYSE
- In a large bowl, dissolve 200g leaven into 700g water. Use your hands to mix the leaven into the water so it becomes cloudy & dispersed. Add flour to the mixture, and incorporate fully into the liquid until no dry bits remain. Cover and let set for 30 minutes to an hour.
- After resting period, add 20g salt and additional 50g water. Incorporate by squeezing dough with hands, until water & salt have absorbed. Cover and let rest until the first turn of bulk fermentation
Stage 2 | Bulk Fermentation
- Every half hour for the next 3-4 hours, perform a series of turns with your dough (see video for reference). Gently pull the edges of the dough up an over itself. Cover & let rest for 30 minutes, repeat. This process ideally occurs at 78-80 degrees. If you have a cool kitchen, place bowl in oven with the oven light on.
- For the last few turns, be very gentle with your turns, careful not to tear the dough.
- At the end of this process, your dough should have about doubled in size and have developed a smooth shiny surface.
Stage 3 | Rounds & Bench Rest
- Flour your work surface and pour your dough out into one solid mass. Cut into to two equal pieces and form into loaves with your bench knife. Push the loaf away from you with your bench knife, and then pull back toward you in a rounding motion until the surface of the loaf is smooth.
- Cover with a tea towel & let rest for 30 minutes.
Stage 4 | Forming Loaves
- Flour the top of each loaf and use your bench knife to flip it over. Perform a series of folds as shown in the video: bottom to top, left to right, right to left, top to bottom, bottom to top.
- Twist the loaf with your hands a few times to seal the bottom.
- Place upside down in proofing basket with towel that has been floured with rice flour.
Stage 5| Final Rise
- Cover loaves and let rest for 3-4 hours at 80 degrees, or overnight in the fridge.
Stage 6 | Bake
- Place dutch oven or combo cooker in oven and preheat to 500 degrees.
- When preheated, take loaf out of fridge (if using) and flip loaf over into dutch oven. Score top of loaf, cover and place in oven. Reduce heat to 450 degrees. Bake 20 minutes covered, and 20 minutes uncovered.
- Remove loaf from oven and place on cooling rack to cool.