By: Bread Festival Bakers
From Connie Lacovelli, Bread Festival 2019
I was inspired to bake sourdough after watching Michael Pollan’s Cooked series, in particular the Air episode. I loved watching deft hand work the dough and wanted to know what it felt like.
It took 13 days to get my sourdough starter started, but when it finally bubbled up I suddenly realized I hadn’t a clue what to do with it. I scrambled all over the internet for ideas and called my father–who has been baking true sourdough for many years–for advice. That first load was a thing of beauty: crusty exterior, chewy interior and an amazing aroma that filled the house. I was hooked!
- 900 grams bread flour
- 236 grams white whole wheat flour
- 900 grams filtered water
- 200 grams fed soursough starter
- 23 grams (4tsp) sea salt
- 50 grams filtered water
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- Rice flour for dusting
- Butter to prevent sticking during baking
- 4 1-qt Pyrex glass bowls (or other oven-safe bowl)
Whisk the flours together in a large lidded container. In a separate container, whisk 900g water and starter. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and combine until well incorporated. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Next, mix the salt with 50g water. Incorporate the salt mixture into the dough after it has rested. Pour the olive oil over the top and mix it into the dough. Cover loosely with lid and set in a draft-free location for 6+ hours or until it had doubled in size.
Wet the counter and dump out the dough (I prefer not to use flour for this, as the wet dough will attract too much and potentially streak the interior). It will be very stick and poofy. Wet your hands and divde evenly into fourths and preshape into rounds. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, butter the glass bowls. After rest period, shape loaves a bit more, roll tops in rice flour and place in bowls. Cover with a cloth and let rise for at least an hour, or until the dough mostly fills the bowl.
Preheat oven to 425. Bake uncovered loaves for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from bowls and let cool on a rack for 2 hours before slicing.