Making a loaf of Sourdough Bread
This recipe makes 2 loaves of Similkameen Sourdough.
What you will need:
- Large mixing bowl
- Dough scraper
- Ripe sourdough starter
- Whole wheat and White flour
- Sea Salt
- Distilled water
- Proofing basket
- Dutch oven
- Bread lame or razor blade
Make sure that your starter is ripe and ready to bake with. Refer to What should I do with my Starter when I am ready to bake with it?
Perform the Float Test: If you are still unsure whether it is ready to use drop a small amount, about 1 tsp, into a glass of water. Do this when the starter is at a peak height before it collapses. If it floats to the top it’s ready to use. If it sinks, your starter should be fed again.
To the large mixing bowl add 800 grams of water that is between 80° and 85°F (27° and 29°C). That temperature range is ideal for the enzymes in the flour to be active. Scalding water would destroy the enzymes, while cold water would slow them down. Then add 200 grams of sourdough starter to the water.
To the water, sourdough mix add 200 grams of whole wheat flour and 800 grams of white flour. Mix with a spatula until it forms a rough shaggy dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm place for ½ an hour.
Add 20 grams of sea salt. Get your hands and dough hook wet under cold water and gently mix the sea salt into the dough. Use your fingers to poke the sea salt into the dough at first while scraping down the side of the bowl. Then fold and tuck the dough into itself. Lastly, turn the dough completely in the bowl, cover, and let rest for ½ an hour.
At this point, you can add seeds or herbs if you are so inclined. Again, fold and tuck the dough into itself and turn it completely over in the bowl. Cover and let rest for ½ an hour and repeat every ½ for 3 more hours.
Dividing and forming the dough:
After the complete 4-hour process, the dough should feel light and airy and have a shiny stretchy surface. At this point, you can divide the dough into 2 pieces (For this recipe you should get 2 pieces of dough that are approximately 950-990 grams).
Generously flour your work surface and gently roll your dough into a ball, squeezing very slightly as you roll to prevent huge air pockets.
Place your dough balls in proofing baskets, cover, and place in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours to continue slow fermenting.
Baking your sourdough:
Preheat your oven to 450 Fahrenheit / 233 Celsius. Place empty Dutch ovens inside oven.
When Dutch ovens and oven are heated to temp, take your dough balls in proofing baskets out of the fridge and lightly dust the top of your dough ball (the top will become the surface that rests on the bottom of your Dutch ovens when you flip the dough into them).
Take your Dutch ovens out of the oven and very gently place your dough balls, floured surface down, into the Dutch oven and score your sourdough Cover Dutch ovens with lids and put them back in the oven.
Bake for 28 minutes covered then remove lids and bake for another 8 minutes uncovered (time will vary by a few minutes, either way, depending on your oven).
Note: Sometimes in-home ovens you will need to place a baking sheet on the rack below the Dutch ovens to prevent the bottoms from getting too dark.
Remove Sourdough from the oven and Dutch ovens and let cool on a cooling rack for a few hours.
After letting your fresh-baked sourdough cool, cut it into slices using a very sharp bread knife.