My Favorite Sourdough Loaf Recipe
Despite my aversion to trends, I can't help loving baking sourdough. My favourite part really is making it. Eating is pure bliss but the experience of maturing your own starter, the slow process of making the dough, shaping, and baking is truly enjoyable for me. Unfortunately, I only ever get to bake sourdough on the very seldom days that I stay home - sick days, mental health days, snow days, etc. Let me share with you my favourite recipe for a sourdough boule. Hopefully, you start to enjoy the process of making it as much as eating it. You will need a starter that is at least 3 weeks old in order to make this recipe. Happy baking!
2 day Sourdough Loaves
75 g Starter (fed 4-6 hours prior)
75 g Warm Water
75 g AP Flour
Levain (matured overnight)
600 g AP Flour
100 g Bread Flour
50 g Salt Water (1 tbsp Salt dissolved in 50 g water)
475 g Warm Water
For the levain
For the dough
The night before the dough making process , make your levain by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Cover with towel and mature overnight on your kitchen counter. It will need 8-9 hours to mature.
The next morning - after 8-9 hours of maturing start creating the dough with your levain. In a large bowl, combine the levain all the dough ingredients except the salt water. Mix well by hand until all flour has been incorporated into the dough.
Cover the the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 1 hour to let the flour fully absorb the water in the dough.
Add the salt water. Squeeze the dough repeatedly in order for it to absorb the added hydration. Continue squeezing until all the extra liquid has been absorbed.
Start the stretch and fold process. Grab a side of the dough and stretch up. Bring it down to the centre of the dough. Repeat for all 4 sides of the dough. Return the plastic wrap to cover the bowl. Repeat this process six times every 30 minutes.
After 3 hours of the stretch/fold process, let the dough sit undisturbed for 1 hour. The dough should get bigger.
Sprinkle flour on a clean surface and turn out the dough. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into two portions.
Flip a portion over and start to shape it and ensure the surface is taut. Repeat for the other portion. Let both portions sit for 30 minutes while you prep your proofing baskets.
Prepare your sourdough proofing baskets by generously flouring the inside or just use 2 large bowls lined with kitchen towels and sprinkled generously with flour.
Shape each loaf. Flip over the dough. The sticky side should be exposed. Grab the side closest to your torso and fold it towards the centre. Repeat with the left side, right side and then finally the top. Now roll the dough from the top towards your torso (much like rolling cinnamon buns). Ensure the surface is taut. Transfer over to your proofing basket. The smooth side should be on the bottom. Repeat the full process for the second loaf.
Cover the loaves with kitchen towel. Let them proof for 3-4 hours before baking. You can also proof them slowly overnight. If proofing overnight, place the baskets inside plastic bags to avoid drying the loaves.
Preheat your dutch oven and oven by placing your dutch oven (with lid on) in your oven and start preheating to 500F. Preheat for at least 1 hour.
After 3-4 hours of proofing, grab a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Flip the proofing basked over the floured parchment. Let the dough fall on the parchment. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Score your loaf and immediately transfer the dough along with the parchment to your dutch oven. Place the lid back on and bake!
Bake the loaf for 20 mins. Reduce the temperature to 450F and bake another 10 mins. Take the lid off the dutch oven and bake for another 30-35 minutes. The loaf should be a deep golden brown and sound hollow if you knock on the bottom. Repeat the process for the second loaf.
Let the loaves cool completely before slicing (about 1 hour). Enjoy with some butter and salt.
You will need the following tools for this recipe:
- 2 proofing baskets or 2 bowls lined with kitchen towels.
- A dutch oven or an oven proof ceramic pot
- Parchment paper
- A bench scraper
- A large bowl for the dough
- A kitchen scale
- A mature sourdough starter