Easy Artisan Sourdough Bread

Easy Artisan Sourdough Bread

Have you been wanting to try your hand at artisan sourdough bread for a while, but feel like it’s too complicated? This recipe is super easy and always yields delicious, beautiful results.

Sourdough is a labor of love but once you try it you will be hooked I promise!


I will show you how to create a healthy, hearty batch of amazing bread in just a few minutes a day.

Where do I begin?


Sourdough gets its name from the starter (made from water, flour and natural yeast from the air) that’s used to create the fermentation that makes the bread rise. It’s healthier and easier to digest for your body because the gluten gets broken down by the slow fermentation process.

active sourdough starter
Jump to Recipe

Start by creating or acquiring a sourdough starter from a friend. Click here to learn how to make your own.

What tools do I need?

large mixing bowl
plastic or wooden spoon
a large canning jar or any jar that size
dutch oven with a high heat lid handle
bread flour / spring or filtered water
salt
tea towel
plastic wrap
parchment paper
digital scale

Pro Baking Tools:

banneton
bread lame
rice flour/rye flour

sourdough bread making tools

You will begin your bread adventure by feeding your starter in the morning or four hours from when you want to start making bread. We need to end up with 200 grams for our recipe and a little extra to bake the next time. 
Mix 75 grams of starter with 75 grams filtered water then stir in 65 grams white bread  flour and 10 g rye. This ratio is considered a 1:1:1.

If you want to bake the next day, mix in less starter so it will rise and peak after a longer time period. It takes about 10-12 hours for a 1:6:6 ratio fed starter to be ready.  Just mix up 20 grams starter, 120 g of filtered water, and 110 g bread flour and 10 g rye right before you go to bed.  Note: The rye flour isn’t required but it does give your starter a boosts and helps to keep it healthy and active.

Next place a rubber band where the starter is currently resting so you can keep track of it’s progress.
Then cover loosely with a lid or towel and place in a warm spot for 3-6 hours (or 10-12 hours if you are feeding with  higher ratios) depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
The goal is for your starter to double or even triple in size. You know it is ready to use when you place a tablespoon full in a dish of water and it floats. However the size of rise( ex: tripling) is a better gauge of the strength and activity of your starter.

When your ready to bake:

Your ratios will look like this
1000 g bread flour
700 g water
200 g starter
20-g sea salt

Making the dough:


Start by autolysing your dough(mixing the everything together and letting it rest, this will help the gluten strands to form.)

Add everything, your water, starter  mix first then and salt  and flours in a large mixing bowl. Combine with a plastic or wooden spoon or use your hand. You may also use a stand mixer with a dough hook and knead for 5 mins. Let rest covered in warm place for 60 minutes.

 

Stretch and fold: Start by wetting your hands in bowl of water, then gently lift the dough from one corner and placing it on top of the rest of the dough being careful not to tear it. Then turnyour bowl. Do this on all four sides and go around the bowl about 3x. This only takes about 3-5 mins. You should notice that the dough will be significantly tighter after each stretch and fold.


We will perform the stretch and fold technique every 30 min for a total of four times over the next few hours. The dough will start to develop a nice silky gluten structure by following this process. After the stretch and fold sessions we will let the dough rest in a warm place for a few hours until our Aliquot jar (see below for more info in this) is showing a 60-70% rise

Note: To cut down the stretch and fold time, mix in a stand mixer with your dough hook on low speed for about 5-6 minutes after everything has been added.


Aliquot Jar :
Take a small portion of your dough, about 30 grams, put in it a small glass jar or drinking glass something that has straight sides so you can measure how much your dough has risen. The French name for this is called an Aliquot Jar.
Place a rubber band around the area where the dough comes up to and cover with another rubber band and a small piece of plastic. You are aiming for at least a 60-70 % rise before shaping. A ziplock works great here. Keep your little jar in the same warm spot where your big batch is so you can get an accurate reading. Ideally the dough in your aliquot jar should almost double in size before you put your main batch of dough in the fridge for cold proofing.

sourdough bread shaping

 

Bulk Rise:


This just means from the time you add your starter to the dough until the time you put the dough in the fridge to rest overnight. It can take anywhere from 3 -8 hours depending on the temperature and how quickly the gluten structure is developing.

You can perform a window pane test to check and see if you dough is ready. Do this by grabbing a small handful of dough and stretching it apart. If it stretches thin and clear like a window pane but doesn’t tear, it is getting close.
Let the covered dough rise in a warm place preferably around 72 -85 degrees for a few hours or as much time as it needs to rise by at least 60%.

 


Note:
I like to proof my dough in the microwave, I always have the under-mounted light on so it stays pretty warm in there. You can also place your covered rising bread in the oven with the light on. Just don’t forget it’s in there and accidentally turn on the oven!!


Once your dough has risen about 60-70 % in size,  you will sprinkle the dough in your bowl with flour then dump it out onto your counter. Next, divide your dough into two equal parts. 

This recipe makes two 750-800 grams loaves so I like to weigh each ball of dough to get them pretty close to even in weight. This keeps the results relatively consistent.


Preshaping:


Start by folding it into itself  keeping the floured side down to make a loose ball, then flip over and begin rolling the ball around on your counter this makes the ball a  little  tighter. Let rest on your counter uncovered for 30 minutes.

Shaping:

Flip the dough over and shape into a rectangle, then fold on side in then the other side and roll into a log shape. Pinch the sides closed dust with flour on top and place into a floured banneton or floured bowl upside down with the tight, pretty side down).
Dust with more flour on top and cover your dough with plastic wrap or a reusable shower cap.
Let them proof for another 15 min-hour or until your Aliquot jar is showing about 70% rise. Then place in the fridge to proof overnight.

Baking Day!

artisan sourdough bread baking in lodge dutch oven

When you’re ready to bake the next day, preheat your oven with the dutch oven in it to 500 degrees for at least an hour.

Note : I have also used lightweight graniteware pans to bake my sourdough. This cuts down on the energy used because they are ready as soon your oven is preheated.

When the oven is ready dump your fridge- proofed loaf out onto a piece of parchment paper, dust with rice flour, and a little all-purpose flour. Use a tooth pick to lightly pre-draw your design before scoring it with a razor blade.

Remove the VERY HOT dutch oven from preheated oven and place the entire loaf including the parchment paper into the dutch oven, then replace the lid and bake for 30 mins covered. If you have room on the sides of the bread you can even throw a few ice cubes inside for extra steam.

After 30 min. Remove the loaf from the dutch oven and place it on a baking sheet to bake another 10-15 minutes then add your next loaf to the dutch oven and repeat the process.

 

Update :

I have been loving my new Lodge combo cooker, I’ve been seeing noticeably better oven spring and a darker rich crust than in my dutch oven. When I use it, I just take off the lid and let it finish cooking in the bottom part. Then begin all over again with my second loaf.

artisan sourdough bread
artisan sourdough bread

Easy Artisan Sourdough Bread

Have you been wanting to try your hand at sourdough bread for a while, but feel like it's to compicated?
This recipe is super simple and always yields delicious, beautiful results. I will show you how to create a healthy, hearty batch of amazing bread in just a few minutes a day.
Sourdough gets its name from the starter that's used to create the natural fermentation that makes the bread rise. Start by creating or acquiring a sourdough starter from a friend.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 15 people

Equipment

  • What tools do I need?
  • large mixing bowl
  • plastic or wooden spoon
  • a large canning jar or any jar that size
  • dutch oven with a high heat lid handle
  • bread flour
  • spring or filtered water
  • salt
  • tea towel
  • plastic wrap
  • parchment paper
  • digital scale
  • Here are some other tools that make your job easier and more fun:
  • banneton( or towel lined bowl)
  • bread lame ( or razor blade / very sharp knife)
  • rice flour
  • aliquot jar
  • 1 rye flour

Ingredients
  

  • You will begin your bread adventure by feeding your starter.
  • 1000 g flour
  • 700 g water spring or filtered
  • 200 g starter
  • 20 g sea salt

Instructions
 

  • You will begin your bread adventure by feeding your starter. This can take anywhere from 4-12 hours depending on the ratio you use.
    Mix 75 grams of starter with 75 grams filtered water then stir in 75 grams white bread flour (or 70g bread flour and 5 g rye.) This ratio is considered a 1:1:1 and should be ready in about four hours.
    If you want to bake the next morning you could try feeding it the night before at a 1:6:6 ratio Just feed your starter right before you go to bed.
    Next place a rubber band where the starter is currently resting so you can keep track of its progress.
    Then cover loosely with a lid or towel and place in a warm spot for 3-6 hours depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
    The goal is for your starter to double or even triple in size. You know it is ready to use when you place a tablespoon full in a dish of water and it floats.
  • Making the Dough
  • Start by mixing all (starter, water, flour and salt) the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Combine with a plastic or wooden spoon.
  • Mix well or place on a stand mixer with a dough hook and knead for 5 mins. Let rest covered in a warm place(like your oven with the light on.) for 60 minutes.
  • Stretch and fold:
  • Perform the stretch and fold technique every thirty minutes for a total of four times over the next few hours. The dough will start to develop a nice silky gluten structure by following this process.
  • Bulk rise:
  • After the stretch and fold stage, Let the covered dough rise in a warm place preferably around 72-85 degrees for a few hours until it has risne by at least 60% in your Aliquot jar.
  • Note:
  • I like to proof my dough in the microwave. I always have the under-mounted light on so it stays pretty warm in there. You could also put it in the oven with the light on.
  • Pre-shape:
  • Once your dough has risen about 60%(judging from your aliquot jar) in size, you will take it from the bowl and place it back onto your counter. Sprinkle the massive hunk of dough with flour only on top not on the underneath side. This recipe makes two 800 grams loaves so I like to weigh each ball of dough to get them pretty close to even in weight. This keeps the results relatively consistent.
  • Roll each 800-gram ball of dough into a loose ball, dust with four and let rest UNCOVERED for 30 minutes.
  • Final Shaping:
  • Flip the dough ball over so the floured side is down.
  • Start by folding it into itself to make a tight ball, then flip over and begin rolling the ball around on your counter this makes the ball even tighter.
  • Place into a floured banneton or floured bowl upside down with the tight, pretty side down).
  • Dust with more flour and wrap your dough in air-tight containers with plastic wrap.
  • Let them proof for another 15 min- hour, then place in the fridge to proof overnight.
  • When you’re ready to bake the next day, preheat your oven with the dutch oven in it to 500 degrees for at least 45 mins
  • When the oven is ready dump your fridge- proofed loaf out onto a piece of parchment paper, dust with rice flour, and a little all-purpose flour. Use a tooth pick to lightly pre-draw your design before scoring it with a razor blade.
  • Remove the VERY HOT dutch oven from preheated oven and place the entire loaf including the parchment paper into the dutch oven then replace the lid and bake for 30 mins covered.
  • After 30 min. remove the loaf from the dutch oven and place it on a baking sheet to bake another 10-15 minutes then add your next loaf to the dutch oven. and repeat the process with your next loaf.

Notes

artisan sourdough bread
Keyword sourdough bread