Basic Country Sourdough Bread

Basic Country Sourdough Bread

Ingredients to make one loaf of bread:

400g white flour (all-purpose or bread flour)
100g whole wheat flour
355g water plus an additional 10-20g water
100g active starter
10g salt

Method:
1. Mix together flours and water to begin a process bakers call “autolyse”. Starter
can be mixed in at this stage or added after autolyse. Adding starter at the
beginning allows it to incorporate more easily and jumpstart fermentation,
delaying the addition of starter until after autolyse helps better gluten and dough
development to take place.
2. Autolyse 20-60 minutes.
3. Add salt and some of the additional water to dissolve salt and help incorporate
into dough. (Add starter if you have not added it yet)
4. Cover bowl and let dough ferment 3-6 hours at room temperature or 24-48 hours
in the fridge. Do 2-4 stretches and folds during the first 2 hours of fermentation.

5. Remove dough from bowl to a smooth, clean, unfloured surface. Quickly shape
into a round shape. Allow to rest about 20 minutes, this is called the bench rest.
6. Prepare proofing bowl (rattan bowl or line a colander with a dry, clean dish towel)
by dusting well with rice flour.

7. After bench rest, do final shaping of the dough by lightly flouring the top, quickly
flipping the dough over with a bench scraper. The floured side should be down
and sticky side up. Take two edges of round and fold over one another, then take
a long end of the folded dough and roll it onto itself—the sticky dough adheres to
itself. Floured side should be up again. Use bench scraper to pull dough toward
you or rotate (without flipping dough over) to create tension.
8. Take bench scraper and quickly slide under shaped dough to transfer to
prepared proofing bowl. Flip dough so the tightened, floured top is down in the
proofing bowl and the sticky side is up. Cover bowl and allow to proof at room
temperature for 1-2 hours (or cold proof in fridge 4-8 hours). Test readiness of
proof by poking the dough (without breaking it)—it will be ready when the mark
slowly rises back but leaves a slight indentation.
9. Preheat oven with a dutch oven inside to 500 degrees F. Once oven is hot, turn
dough out of proofing bowl onto a sheet of parchment. Use bread lame (or breadknife) to score (slice slits on the top) the dough. Carefully transfer bread
with parchment underneath into the bottom of the hot dutch oven. Place cover on
top and put into oven. Reduce heat to 450 degrees F and bake, covered 20
minutes. After 20 minutes, remove cover (if walls of dutch oven are high, take
bread out carefully and place directly on oven rack) and bake a final 20 minutes,
uncovered.
10. Allow to sit with ventilation underneath the bread for at least an hour before
cutting.