Rustic Sourdough Bread | Author T.M. Cromer AI-FREE! 100% certified organic author-created content. No artificial intelligence was used in the writing of this book.

Rustic Sourdough Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 c ripe sourdough starter, stirred down
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, below 110 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Double loaf:

Combine all ingredients and knead bread to form a smooth dough.

Cover and let rise until double in size, roughly 90 minutes.

Gently divide the dough in half. Carefully shape loaves into two ovals and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 1 hour. 

Toward the end of the second rise, preheat oven to 425ºF.

Spray loaves with lukewarm water and dust generously with flour. Cut two fairly deep diagonal lines in each. Use a firm, quick motion when scoring. A sharp knife or lame works best.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the center reaches 190 degrees. 

Remove and let cool on a rack for approximately one hour.

Additionally, you can brush on melted butter straight from the oven for added flavor as the loaves cool.

Slice and enjoy! 

(See notes for freezing options.)

Single loaf:

Combine all ingredients and knead bread to form a smooth dough.

Cover and let rise until double in size, roughly 90 minutes.

Carefully shape loaf into an oval and place it in a lightly greased or parchment-lined Dutch oven. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

Toward the end of the second rise, preheat oven to 425ºF.

Spray loaf with lukewarm water and dust generously with flour. Cut a fairly deep diagonal line along the top. Use a firm, quick motion when scoring. A sharp knife or lame works best.

Cover and bake bread for 20 minutes. Remove lid from Dutch oven and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. Remove loaf from Dutch oven completely, and place it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Continue cooking for an additional 10-15 minutes or until center reaches 190 degrees and outside is a golden brown. Total baking time should be around 40-50 minutes if the loaf is large.

Remove and let cool on a rack for approximately one hour.

Additionally, you can brush on melted butter straight from the oven for added flavor as the loaf cools.

Slice and enjoy! 

(See notes for freezing options.)

Notes:

Refrigeration/Freezing options: 

If preparing in advance, any dough, after the first rise is completed, can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. If freezing, place risen dough in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. Thaw in a sealed container overnight.

Scoring options: 

When scoring a pattern that will take time to complete, freeze the dough for 30 min prior to scoring. This will prevent the dough from ‘deflating’ before you bake it. Be gentle with the dough, and make swift and deep slashes, but don’t press down on the dough itself.

Proofing: 

Gently press your finger into the dough on top. If the dough springs back quickly, it’s under-proofed. If it springs back very slowly, it’s properly proofed and ready to bake. Finally, if it never springs back, it’s over-proofed.

Feeding your remaining starter:

Start with 115 grams of ripe starter and stir down. 

Add 65 grams of all-purpose or bread flour and 65 grams of warm water. Water should be within the 111º-115º range. 

Anything over 115º will kill the starter!

Mix until smooth and there are no clumps remaining.

A starter left on the counter should be fed at least every 24 hours, but you can feed it every 12 to maintain its health. 

The starter stored in the refrigerator should be fed weekly. Pick a routine day and time and stick to it. 

Routinely discard half the starter. You can explore and try many discard recipes from the internet, so your sourdough starter doesn’t go to waste. 🙂 

Important Feeding Note: 

Sourdough has a pungent odor due to fermentation. However, if it smells more potent than the standard “sour” smell, the liquid separates and sits on the top, or there is a pink discoloration, your starter has probably turned bad. You’ll need to start fresh with a new sourdough. 

Always keep flour and water the same measure. You can make more or less starter by altering the amounts, but keep them equal. 

Always keep your starter covered. 

Never use metal spoons to mix the starter. A silicone spatula works best. 

Naming your starter can be fun. Get creative and go for it! 

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* Proud to be AI-FREE! 100% certified organic author-created content.
No artificial intelligence was used in the writing of T.M.’s books.