(shop my favorite baking supplies here)
- 125 g active starter (buy my dehydrated sourdough here)
- 400 g filtered, room-temperature water
- 500 g bread flour or all-purpose unbleached flour
- 15 g sea salt (I use Redmonds or French Grey Salt)
- 25 g honey (Optional)
Mix Your Ingredients
- Add your active started to a large bowl.
- Add in 350 g water & mix with a bread whisk until milky.
- Add in the flour & mix with the whisk until combined (around 2 minutes). It will not be smooth. That’s ok!
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel & let it rest for 30 minutes.
In the center of the dough make a small indention. Add in an additional 50 g water, 15-20 g sea salt, and 25 g honey. The honey is optional! (It can help improve texture and volume but if you want the bread to maintain that very “sourdough” taste I would skip it.)
Knead. Stretch. Fold.
- Knead the dough with your hands for around 5 minutes until it’s really combined. I like to stretch the sides into the center repeatedly to mix in the salt and honey and then start picking the dough up and working through my hands.
- Now you need to stretch & fold your dough to get those nice big bubbles in it. Grab one side of the dough and stretch it up high, folding it over to the opposite side. Rotate the bowl 1/4th of the way around and do it again. I typically stretch and fold it four times. Cover the bowl with a tea towel & let it rest again on the counter for 20-30 minutes.
- Repeat step number 8 three more times, waiting for 20-30 minutes between each stretch & fold.
Let It Rest
- You can leave the dough on the counter (in the bowl & covered) to let it double in size or put it in the fridge for around 10 hours. I like the fridge method because you know how long it will take and you can either make your dough in the am and bake in the evening or make your dough in the evening and bake the next morning.
Shape & Score
- When you are ready to bake dump the dough on the counter and do another series of folds (without the stretch like above). Then you shape the dough. The best way I have found to do this is to take the dough and pull it towards you sliding it on the counter, slightly twisting it in a circle as you slide it. This creates a lot of tension not only on the sides but also keeps rotating the bottom around the center. The goal is to try and get the top of the dough really tight.
- Using a bench scraper to pick up your dough, flip it into a proofing basket that is lightly floured.
- I hate the final proof because once it is shaped I am ready to bake it!! And you definitely can skip this part if you are pressed for time. However, if you want to get a better rise and have better luck scoring, I recommend you do a final proof in the fridge. Cold dough is MUCH easier to score than room temperature dough!
- When you are ready to bake, flip your dough onto a piece of parchment paper. It helps to use wet hands or a tool like this if it’s sticking to the edge of the bowl. If you have used enough flour it should flip right out. If for some reason the dough loses its shape you can definitely shape it again!
- Lightly flour the top of your bread & score it in the design of your choosing with a bread lame. I think it’s easier to just hold the blade instead of using it on the handle. I’m saving some inspiration on this Pinterest board if you want to take a peek.
Bake & Enjoy
- There are a million ways to bake these loaves and you can test them to see what works for you. A lot of people recommend putting the dough in a pre-heated dutch oven. I like to skip the preheating and place the dough on the parchment paper in the dutch oven when it is cold. Cover with the lid & THEN turn the oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes, reduce the heat to 425 degrees, and bake for another 10-15 with the lid off.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and lift it out of the dutch oven with the parchment paper. Let it rest on the counter to cool. If you cut it too soon you could end up with mushy bread so let it cool before slicing even though it is kind of torture.
How To Strech & Fold Sourdough
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