My Simple Sourdough

This is my everyday sourdough I developed when Foxen was just a tiny baby on my hip. I could do most of it with one hand, and the ratios are really forgiving when you accidentally give your bowl an extra glug of starter. The crumb is soft, chewy and light, perfect for avocado toast and some scrambled eggs, pretty much my diet for the first year of his life. This is my basic sourdough method for nearly all of my recipes. I list my recipe and method here, but for a much more detailed guide, check out my Everyday Sourdough Recipe and Guide.

 

Ingredients:

65g starter

350g warm water

500g all purpose flour

10g salt 

 

The night before bake day

Add water and starter to your mixing bowl and give a good ‘bubble-bath’ like swishing. Then add flour and salt and mix will by hand until all bits of flour are fully combined. I like to spend at least 2 minutes mixing my dough to really encourage the gluten structure to begin developing. At this point, it should feel like a sticky, shaggy ball. Get most of the dough off of your hands, get washed-up and re-feed your starter. Cover your bowl with a tea towel and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, your dough should appear a little smoother and have more elasticity.

Stretch and Fold

Now we want to fold the dough to both form into a ball, but also to add structure and vitality to the final crumb. With a wet hand, starting at 12 o'clock, grab the dough and fold down to 6 o' clock, give the bowl and quarter turn and repeat until you've folded the entire dough into a ball. Optional: repeat folding step  2-4 times every 30 minutes if you can spare the time. Cover and let rise overnight somewhere warm, I leave mine on the stove top.

Bench Rest

Good morning! Now its time to rest and shape your dough. Gently guide your dough onto a floured surface, dust with flour and cover with a tea towel for 30 minutes. This step is optional! The bench rest allows the dough to continue fermenting at cooler temperature; developing more flavor and relaxing the dough so it softer and easier to stretch into a desired shape. 

Shape 

There are several easy ways to shape rounds. I prefer the envelope method which I share in detail in my guide. With floured hands, grab the top of the dough and with a little tug in your grip, stretch the dough across the middle and pressing the seam into the dough just before the bottom, using your fingertips to press down along the seam to close the ends together. Do the same for the bottom. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat. If your dough doesn't seem like its holding shape, you can do another envelope shape. 

Proof + Pre heat

Gently place your dough seam side up into a floured proofing basket. Cover with a tea towel and place somewhere warm. Our goal in the proofing stage is for our dough to rise one last time in its final shape. Proof for one hour and up to 90 minutes. You can also proof in the refrigerator if you're short on time, for up to 6-8 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking. 

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees with your enameled cast iron pot inside 

Score 

Time to place our dough into the (very hot) pot. TIp- place a piece of parchment paper on top of the proofing basket and flip over to now have your dough resting on the paper. Score your bread using a bread lame or even just a razor blade to allow air to vent out. Deep lines are key and the possibilities are endless. You can do a simple "X" or two simple lines, can't wait to see what you come up with!   

Bake 

Use the oven safe parchment paper to lift and lay the dough into your pot. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Then bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 30-60 minutes before you cut into it. 

Note- if you like a thinner, softer crust, you can actually bake the entire time covered, or release the steam after 30, or 40 minutes. The beautiful thing about sourdough, is creating your own unique bake!

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