Beginner Friendly Sourdough Bread

Beginner Friendly Sourdough Bread

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Ingredients

Levain Measurements (1:1:1 Ratio)
33 grams Mature Starter
23 grams (unbleached) Bread Flour
10 grams (unbleached) Whole Wheat/Rye Flour
33 grams Filtered Water
Bread Dough Measurements
350 grams (unbleached) Bread Flour
100 grams (unbleached) All-Purpose Flour
270 grams Filtered Water
90 grams (Levain) Sourdough Starter
9 grams Sea Salt

Beginner Friendly Sourdough Bread

Features:
  • 12 Hours
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Levain Measurements (1:1:1 Ratio)

  • Bread Dough Measurements

Directions

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Easy to make and almost hands-off, beginner friendly sourdough bread made with the standing mixer.

Over the past 11 months, my sourdough bread journey has evolved and I am now finally confident in my abilities.

Understanding that temperature, humidity,  ingredients and time are all such crucial factors when it comes to bread making is so important.

So how does one improve on making sourdough?

Never stop learning and experiment once in a while.

But more importantly, make it fun and easier on yourself when possible!

In comes my handy standing mixer with my dough hook attachment.

Using the standing mixer has really leveled up my sourdough.

Well mixed dough is key and my arms and hands can get tired easily!

When following my method, your bread will result in a light and open crumb with a thinner crust.

The ideal sourdough bread in my opinion and very beginner friendly.

Here, I provide you with my typical 1-day bread making schedule, however, you can adjust to your needs.

Start to finish, it will take about 12 hours.

This includes 4-5 hours for the levain to grow, 3-4 hours of bulk fermentation and 2-3 hours for final proof.

 

Here’s the baker’s math of this sourdough loaf:

400g flour = 100%

270g water = 67%

90g sourdough starter (levain) = 22%

9g salt – 2%

 

The hydration of this loaf is 71%.

 

Here’s how to calculate the hydration properly:

(Total water/ total flour) x 100 = hydration

The sourdough starter is 100% hydration which means it’s equal parts flour to water. 90g sourdough starter is 45g water + 45g flour.

Total water is: 270g (water added to make the dough) +45g (water from the sourdough starter) = 315g water

Total flour is: 400g (flour added to make the dough) + 45g (flour from the sourdough starter) = 445g

(315g/445g) x100 = 70.79%

 

Why does this matter? The hydration % of  your bread will result in a different texture and crumb. If you live in a dry climate, you might want to increase hydration and if you live in a humid climate like me, keeping the hydration lower is ideal.

 

See more Bread recipes here: All Things Bread

 

Steps

1
Done

7am - Build The Levain

I tend to make two loaves at a time, which is why the image will show more levain than needed for just 1 loaf.

To build your levain, mix together the mature starter, flour(s) and warm, filtered water. Water that is around 90-100°F will help speed up the process.

Mix well until all dry bits have been fully absorbed, then loosely cover and allow to grow at room temperature.

2
Done

9am - Autolyse

First, warm up the filtered water to around 90-100°F.

Both the levain and autolysed dough should be the same temperature.

To measure the wight of the flours and water, I place the mixing bowl on top of the kitchen scale and then attach it to the standing mixer.

Mix with the standing mixer and the dough hook attachment until all of the flours have been fully absorbed and it comes together in a sticky dough.

3
Done

10:30am - Float Test

Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the levain will take anywhere from 3-5 hours to reach peak height.

If the levain has doubled in size, shows a lot of sign of activity and the top is no longer domed, it's most likely ready.

However, always to the float test to be 100% sure.

Get a bowl of water then spoon out just a bit of the levain (1 teaspoon is enough) and gently drop it into the water.

If sinks, the levain needs more time and if it floats it's ready to be used.

4
Done

11am - Add Levain and Salt

Place the bowl with the autolysed dough on top of your kitchen scale and 0 it out.

Add 90 grams of levain then attach the bowl back to your standing mixer and the dough hook attachment and start on low speed to mix.

While the dough is mixing, measure out 9 grams of sea salt.

Once the levain is fully mixed it, slowly add the salt while it's mixing.

Allow the dough to mix for another 3-4 minutes then remove the bowl, cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

I like to transfer the dough into a clean bowl that has a lid.

Once this step is done, bulk fermentation has started. Note down this time stamp.

5
Done

11:30am - Bulk Fermentation and Stretch & Folds

During bulk fermentation, you will perform 3 sets of stretch & folds 30 minutes apart.

Once bulk fermentation has started, set a 30 minute timer.

After the timers, goes off, lightly wet your hand then gently scoop and grab one side of the dough and stretch it up and over the dough to the other side. Rotate the bowl 90° and perform another stretch and fold slightly overlapping the first. Continue to rotate the bowl and perform stretch and folds until all sides are complete. You can leave the dough as it or gently lift it up and place it back into the bowl with face-side down so that the top is round and smooth.

Cover the bowl again and set another 30 minute timer.

After 30 minutes perform your second set of stretch & folds, then cover, set another 30 minute timer and perform a third set of stretch & folds.

Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for the remainder of bulk fermentation.

6
Done

3:30pm - Pre-Shape

Depending on how well your dough ferments, it may be ready after 3-5 hours. The colder your kitchen, the longer fermentation takes.

The dough should have risen during bulk fermentation, have a smooth and slightly domed top, and show some bubbles on the sides and surface or the dough. It should also feel alive and aerated.

If the dough does not seem ready, allow it to bulk a but longer. I do not recommend going past a 5 hour bulk fermentation.

Lightly flour your clean work surface then gently remove the dough from the dough using a wet hand or bench scraper, being careful not to deflate the dough too much. You want as much of the air pockets to stay in tact.

Place the dough on top of the lightly floured work surface then gently pre-shape using a lightly floured bench scraper or your hands. Gently shape the dough into a ball shape by pushing the dough and rotating it with a bench scraper or your hand into a ball shape.

Allow the dough to rest uncovered for 20 minutes. During the bench rest, the dough will spread and flatten a bit.

7
Done

4pm - Prep Proofing Basket & Final Shape

Generously coat all sides of your proofing basket with flour.

Rice flour or any type of gluten-free flour works best.

Using regular flour that contains gluten will attach itself to the dough as it is proofing, which will make removal harder.

Using lightly floured hands or a bench scraper, loosen the edges of the dough ball then gently flip it over.

Brush off any excess flour.

Shaping for boule (round):
To shape the dough into a boule (round) shape, gently stretch the right side of the dough then fold it into the center on the dough, pressing it down so it adheres.

Then gently stretch the left side of the dough and fold it into the center of the dough, pressing it down so it adheres.

Next, gently stretch the bottom side of the dough and fold it into the center of the dough, then gently stretch the top and fold it all the way over.

Flip the dough over so it it seam side down.

Next, using both hands drag the dough down toward your body using your pinky fingers to pinch the dough between your fingers and the work surface. Rotate the dough and continue dragging to create tension on the top and outside of the dough.

You want to be left with a smooth, round and tight ball.

Gently flip the dough in your hands so that it is seam side up and place it into the prepared proofing basket.

Stick the dough if needed by pinching the seams together, if needed.

Lightly dust the top and the sides of the dough with rice flour.

Shaping for batard (oval):
To shape the dough into a batard shape, stretch the right side of the dough then fold it into the center on the dough, pressing it down so it adheres.

Then stretch the bottom of the dough and fold it into the center of the dough, pressing it down so it adheres.

Repeat the stretch and fold with the left side.

Stretch and roll the top of the dough down into a long tube, similar to rolling a beach towel.

Roll the dough so it's seam-side down.

Place your hands on either side of the loaf with your palms facing the loaf.

Gently push the dough from both sides and slightly cup the bottom edges to seal the bottom and all four sides.

Place the shaped dough upside-down into your proofing basket, pinch any seals together if needed then lightly dust the top and the sides of the dough with rice flour.

Place the proofing basket into a large, food-safe plastic bag making sure to trap air inside the bag so that the bag does not touch the dough.

8
Done

4:30pm - Final Proof

Allow the dough to proof at room temperature and in a draft-free area in your kitchen for 2-3 hours.

Alternatively, you can proof the dough at room temperature for 1-2 hours then move it to the refrigerator and cold proof for 10-12 hours.

9
Done

6:30pm - Pre-heat The Oven

Preheat the oven at 425°F.

10
Done

7pm - Poke Test

To see if the dough has fully proofed, perform the poke test.

Remove the proofing basket from the bag and gently press a finger into the dough.

If the dough springs back right away it's not ready yet and needs a bit more time to proof.

If the dough springs back slowly and leaves a small indentation, it’s ready to be baked.

11
Done

7:30pm Bake

Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the proofing basket then gently turn out the dough and place it either into your dutch oven or cast iron combo cooker.

Brush off any excess flour then quickly score the bread.

I score my loaf with a bread lame with just one slash off center and the lame is at an angel for a deep slash.

Add the lid then bake at 425°F for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the lid, lower the heat to 400°F and bake for another 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at 208°F.

12
Done

Allow To Cool Completely Before Slicing

Once the bread has fully baked, move it to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing in.

If you slice in too soon, the crumb will be gummy and the bread will go stale faster.

Store the cooled bread in a bread basket with a lid or a plastic bag at room temperature.

You can also slice and freeze the loaf and toast each slice before eating.

For bread that is kept at room temperature, keep the bread whole and slice as needed. After day 2, toast the bread slices for the best taste and crunch!

13
Done

Bake The Bread In A Sandwich Loaf Pan!

If you are a beginner, I highly recommend using a loaf pan.

The bread proofs in a lightly oiled loaf pan then goes directly into the oven! No stress over removing it from the proofing basket and if your final shape isn't tight enough it's ok because the loaf pan will guide the bread to rise up and stay in the perfect shape.

It's also easier to slice and eat in my opinion!

Joni

Hi guys, so glad you are here! My food blog is about easy, colorful and mostly healthy recipes. I grew up in Germany and have been in the states since 2002. Currently, I am living in sunny Miami, FL! Please leave me a comment if you have questions or recipe requests and also follow me on social media via @foodbyjonister. Happy cooking and eating!

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