Sourdough Artisan Bread
Making Sourdough Bread
Sourdough artisan bread will take 12 to 24 hours to produce. It is a no-knead dough that requires little experience, because it is no-knead. Make it the night before and bake it the next day for fresh bread at dinner. Below is a picture of what your dough should look when it is first made.
Sourdough Starter After Fermentation
This is what the dough will look like after 12 to 24 hour rise period. Scraping dough over itself will help develop its structure before you remove it from the bowl. See video below.
3 cups bread flour, or any mix you prefer, I use 1/4 cup of whole grain with 2 3/4 cup of bread flour. Anymore of the whole grain will make the dough dense.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup sourdough starter ( if your sourdough is not active enough the dough may be denser. If that is the case add 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast for more leavening.)
1 to 1 1/4 cup filter water
Add a bit more water if you see dry flour. It should be shaggy and wet like the picture above.
Measure the flour in a large bowl. Add the salt and mix. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the water and sourdough starter. Mix with a spatula or dough whisk until all the flour has been absorbed. The dough should be wet, but not too wet. It should be able to hold a loose ball shape. See picture above. This is the first rise.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest overnight.
The next morning scrap and lift the dough over its self in the bowl, do this several times to develop the structure. Next scrape the dough out on a generously floured work surface with the scraper. Lift the dough edges in towards the center of the bottom of the dough on all four sides. Turn over and nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make a round. Pull the boule over the work surface towards you to make the top taunt. See video demonstration above.
Place the dough round on a dusted parchment paper with flour, cornmeal or wheat bran. Allow to rise 1 hour. This is the second rise. Gentle poke your finger into the dough, it should hold the impression. If it springs back let it rise another 15 minutes and check.
Preheat your oven to 475-degree. Half an hour before the second rise is finished place a 4 1/2 quart dutch oven on the center rack. I recommend using cast iron, it will give you the coveted crust you desire.
Just before baking, with a very sharp knife or razor blade to score the bread several times across the top.
Remove the pan from the oven carefully. Transfer the dough directly on the parchment paper into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees, and the bread is a chestnut color. Use a spatula carefully removing the bread from the pot. Place on a rack for cooling, you will hear cracking sounds coming from the bread.