Sourdough Recipe for Beginners
Makes 1 Large Sourdough Loaf
400g Unbleached Wheat Flour (white, whole wheat, or combination)
260ml Filtered Water
80g Sourdough Starter
1 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients until roughly incorporated. Then, turn onto clean work surface. Knead dough for about 10 minutes or until it passes the window-pane test.
What's the window-pane test? Take a small piece of dough and stretch it out between your thumb and pointer-finger. If the dough becomes thin and translucent without tearing, it is ready.
Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let sit for 3-4 hours until roughly double in size (a great place is in a cold oven with the light on because it is warm and draft-free).
Turn the dough out back onto your work surface. Grab the edges of the dough and fold into the centre. Work clock-wise until you have formed a tight ball - the goal here is to give the dough tension so that it maintains its shape. Place top-down in a well floured banneton or medium-bowl. Cover and leave on counter for another 3 hours OR, for a loaf with more complex flavours, place in the fridge for 8-12 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 450F (425 if using a convection oven).
If you have a dutch oven: put the dutch oven in your oven as it preheats. When hot, take the dutch oven out and carefully turn your dough into the bottom piece. Using a bread lame or serrated knife, quickly score your loaf by making 1-2cm deep incisions. Place lid on dutch oven and place back in oven. Bake for 20 minutes, remove lid, and bake another 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
If not, place a baking tray in the oven as it preheats on a lower rack. Place dough on a baking tray and using a bread lame or serrated knife, quickly score your loaf by making 1-2cm deep incisions. Once the oven is done pre-heating, place tray in oven on the middle rack. Carefully (while wearing oven gloves) pour about 2 cups of boiling water onto the hot tray and quickly close the oven). Bake for 20 minutes, carefully remove the pan with water, and bake another 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool on cooling rack for as long as you can resist (15-30 minutes is recommended) and enjoy!
Let us know how your bread turned out by posting on Instagram with #BreadBoxStarter!
If your breads don't turn out, keep trying and adjusting - it takes a lot of practice! If you give up, there's always a BreadBox for that!