Basic Sourdough Bread

By Robin Andeer. This article was published on April 15, 2021.

This is my base sourdough bread recipe. My go to. When folding it up, I like to get creative with seeds or spice it up with ssamjang.

Instructions - One loaf

This is a multi-day recipe but don't let it deter you - most of the time you are just waiting for the dough to do it's job - rise!

Day 0 - Activation

  • Rye flour - 55g
  • Lukewarm water - 100g

You don't need to feed your starter when you're not baking. I leave mine in the fridge to rest between bakes in a sealed container.

Remove your starter from the fridge. Feed it with rye flour (55g) and lukewarm water (100g). Seal your container and leave it in room temperature overnight.

Sleep tight [input name of starter]! 😴

Day 1 - Preparation

  • Rye flour - 28g
  • Lukewarm water - 50g
  • Flour (bread, whole wheat) - 400g
  • Lukewarm water - 266g
  • Salt - 11g
  • Sourdough starter - 133g
  1. 1.

    Feed your starter a second time using the same proportions as the night before. After an hour of so it should be fully activated and risen to twice its volume.

  2. 2.

    Mix flour (400g) and lukewarm water (266g). Leave it in room temperature for at least 1 hour. This process is called autolysis. It makes the dough easier to kneed and shape.

  3. 3.

    Add salt (11g), sourdough starter (133g) and mix until incorporated. Bring the dough onto a bench and start kneading. Wet your hands to avoid the dough from sticking. Keep going until the dough feels flexible and has built up tension.

  4. 4.

    Transfer the dough to a greased container. I like to use canola or olive oil. Set aside for 3-4 hours, covered by a kitchen towel.

  5. 5.

    Every 30-60 min, stretch and fold the dough from all four sides. This will help develop gluten and give the bread more elasticity.

This is a good time to incorporate seeds, chopped nuts, or other grains to give your bread a little extra flavor. After 2-3 "stretch and folds", the added seeds should be distributed throughout the dough.

  1. 1.
    Uncover the dough and turn it out onto the bench again. Use this folding technique. Remember to wet your hands. Then transfer the dough back to the greased container. Cover the container in the towel and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2 - Time to bake

  1. 1.

    Remove the dough from the fridge and let it rest in room temperature.

  2. 2.

    Turn the oven to 225°C. Place a dutch oven in the bottom of the oven. You need give it time to really heat up. Give it at least 45 min before proceeding.

  3. 3.

    Place a square piece of parchment paper on the table. Turn the dough upside down onto the center of the paper. Remove the HOT dutch oven from the oven. Place the dough on the parchment paper inside the dutch oven. Cover with pan with the lid and place it back into the oven.

  4. 4.

    Bake for 30 min with lid.

  5. 5.

    Remove the lid, bake for an additional 25 min without lid.

  6. 6.

    Lower the temperature to 180°C and bake for an additional 15 min.

  7. 7.

    Remove the dutch oven from the oven. Place the bread on a grate to cool down for about 45 min before cutting it.

Unless you plan to eat the bread in the next 1-2 days, slice it up and store it in the freezer. It works very well to heat up in a toaster or similar when you want to dig into it later!

Pat yourself on the back, you've made it! Enjoy your tangy, crispy, crunchy, juicy slice of sourdough bread.