Recipe: Crusty White Sourdough

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
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This is a delicious crusty sourdough that reminds me of a traditional European loaf. All those nooks and crannies that make this bread perfect for dipping in olive oil or soup.

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Crusty White Sourdough
Makes 2 small loaves or 1 extra large loaf
Total time: 3 hours + overnight proof + 40 minutes baking

Ingredients:
  • 230 g fed 100% hydration sourdough starter
  • 455 g unbleached white flour
  • 255 g water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
Note: Doubling the recipe works great too.

Method:
  1. Mix all ingredients together, except the salt. Let it rest in the bowl for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the salt and knead the dough until it reaches a medium level of gluten development. It should take less than 5 minutes by hand.
  3. Transfer the dough to a wide oiled container, cover, and place the container somewhere warm like the top of the fridge.
  4. Fold the dough over once after 50 minutes
  5. Fold the dough again after another 50 minutes.
  6. After 30 more minutes, divide your dough in half and shape it into two loaves. I flattened it, rolled it, then put it into bread pans.
  7. Stick the bread in the fridge overnight.
The next morning:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take your bread out of the fridge and slash with a knife.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until it's golden brown.
  4. You can tell it's done if it sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of the bread. If you hear it crackling as it cools that's also a good sign.
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Tips:
  • To add toppings like sea salt and herbs (left loaf in the photo), or sesame seeds (right loaf in the photo), rub a little water on top of the loaf before slashing the bread, then sprinkle your toppings. The water will make it adhere to the loaf better.
  • When I make this bread I'll feed the starter before work, prep the dough when I come home, stick it in the fridge and bake it the next morning.
  • If you are impatient, skip step 7, let the bread proof at room temperature for another 1.5 hours, then bake at 400 degrees.
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