Simple sourdough basics!
I’ve been baking simple sourdough for a few years now and absolutely love the baking and eating of this beautiful style of bread. And because a few of you lovely people have asked recently if I could share my process, I thought I’d make a little video showing every step of the way. You can watch it over on IGTV and here below are the steps written up.
Disclaimer – I am by no means an expert baker, more a passionate home cook who loves playing with sourdough! I’m sure there are better/different ways to do this, but this is what works for me. I’d also like to note that my method is really a hybrid of knowledge gleaned from two main sources, the book Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson and the blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Big huge thanks to both for all their wonderful guidance over the years.
650g water (room temperature)
150g starter (nice and bubbly – it should float)
Semolina for dusting
Dutch oven or enamel baking tin
Step 1 – Measure 600g water into a large bowl. Add 150g bubbly starter (you’ll know it’s ready if it floats). Mix water and starter together. Then add in 1kg flour and mix in so you have a lovely big shaggy messy mixture. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 mins.
Step 2 – Measure in the salt and extra 50g water. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 mins.
Step 3 – Give dough a turn every 30 mins for 2 hours, so four times.
Step 4 – Cover dough and leave overnight or on a bench in a cool place for at least 6-8 hours.
Step 6 – Dust work surface with semolina. Gently turn dough out and divide into two even pieces. Take each piece and gently form into a rough ball shape, turn over so seam-side is facing down and with the heel of your hand, continue to shape into a round ball shape. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 mins.
Step 7 – Line bread baskets or bowls with a napkin or tea towel and dust this with semolina. Shape bread into a football-sh form for the long bread basket if using or a nice round ‘ boule’ if using a bowl. Pop in the fridge for 6-8 hours (or thereabouts) or on the bench for 4-6 hours (or thereabouts).
Step 8 – Preheat oven to 250C and in oven place a big enamel roasting tin with a lid or a Dutch oven.
Step 9 – Place a sheet of baking paper on your work surface, turn loaf out onto paper and gently score the top. Carefully take the preheated tin or Dutch oven out of the oven, remove lid and lower the bread, paper and all, inside. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 mins.
Step 10 – Remove lid and cook for another 20 mins.
Step 11 – Transfer your golden gorgeous loaf to a cooling rack and let cool at least 40 mins before slicing.
Step 12 – repeat with remaining loaf. Or if you are a lucky duck with a big oven, bake them two at a time!