Shelter In Place Trend: Make Sourdough

I had no idea this was a trend until I started seeing pics of sourdough bread on social media. Making a started just seemed like a cool science + nourishing food activity for the kids. Also, being a sourdough starter mom is rewarding and a PITA. Enjoy!

Sourdough Starter

The Kitchn is the resource we used for making the starter (note, it takes 5 days if you can keep it in a room 70-75 degrees f.

Sourdough Bread

  • 1200 grams bread flour
  • 900 grams water
  • 20 grams fine sea salt
  • 20 grams starter

Make the leaven the night before baking. Mix 20 grams of starter with 200 grams of warm water. Wash your hands really well and stir with your hands to disperse.

Add 200 grams of flour and combine well. Cover and let rest at room temp for 12 hours or until puffed in appearance.

To test for readiness, drop a tablespoon of leaven into a bowl of room temp water; if it floats, it’s ready to use. If it doesn’t, allow for more time to ferment.

In a large bowl, combine 200 grams of leaven with 650 grams of warm water. Wash hands really well and stir to disperse with hands.

Add 1000 grams of flour to bowl (if using whole wheat, use 900 grams of bread flour and 100 grams of whole wheat flour). Wash your hands again really well. Use your hands to mix until no traces of flour remain. The dough will be sticky and ragged. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest for 25 to 40 mins at room temp.

Add 20 grams of fine sea salt and 50 grams of warm water. Use hands to integrate salt water into dough thoroughly. The dough will begin to pull apart, but continue mixing. It will come back together.

Cover dough with a towel and transfer to a warm environment, 75 – 80 degrees f (like near a window in a sunny room, or inside a turned off oven) Let dough rise for 30 mins.

Fold dough by dipping a very clean hand in water, taking hold of the underside of the dough at one quadrant and stretching it up over the rest of the dough. Repeat this action 3 more times, rotating bowl a quarter turn for each fold. Do this every half hour for 2 1/2 hours more (3 hours total). The dough should be billowy and increase in volume 20 – 30 percent. If not, continue to let rise and fold for up to an hour more.

Transfer dough to a work surface and dust top of flour. Use a dough scraper to cut dough into 2 equal pieces and flip them over so floured sides are face down. Fold the cut side of each piece up onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf; this will become the crust. Work dough into taut rounds. Place the dough rounds on a work surface, cover with a towel, and let rest 30 mins.

Mix 100 grams flour and 100 grams rice flour in a different bowl. Line two 10-12″ bread proofing baskets or mixing bowels with clean towels. Use some of the flour mixture to generously flour towels (reserve remaining mixture).

Dust rounds with flour. Use a dough scraper to flip them over onto a work surface so floured sides are facing down. Take one round and starting at the side closest to you, pull the bottom 2 corners of the dough down toward you. Then fold that into the middle third of the dough. Repeat this action on the right and left sides, pulling the edges out and folding them in over the center. Finally, lift the top corners up and fold down over previous folds. Roll dough over so the folded side becomes the bottom of the loaf. Shape into a smooth taut ball. Repeat with the other round.

Transfer rounds, seam-side up, to the prepared baskets. Cover with a towel and return the dough to the 75 – 80 degree f environment for 3 – 4 hours. (Or let dough rise for 10 to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Bring it back to room temp before baking. )

About 30 mins before baking, place a Dutch oven or lidded cast iron pot in the oven and heat it to 500 degrees. Dust tops of dough, still in their baskets with the bread and rice flour mixture. Very carefully remove heated pot from oven and gently turn 1 loaf into pan seam side down. Use a lame or razor blade to score the he top of the bread a few times to allow for expansion. Cover and transfer to oven. Reduce temp to 450 degrees and bake for 20 mins.

Carefully remove the lid (steam may rise) and bake for 16-20 more mins or until crust is rich and golden brown.

Transfer bread to a wire rack to cook for at least 15 mins before slicing. The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Increase oven temp to 500 degrees, clean out the pot and repeat the process with the second loaf.

Recipe from NY Times’ Tartine Bread.