Sourdough Loaf – The Short Version

This is a brief, shortened version of my recipe for experienced bakers or people who want to see how it’s done without all the description. If you’ve never made sourdough bread before, you should read the long version to understand more fully what you are doing.

This is a one day recipe, without a 24 hour cold ferment, but you need to start it around 8am if you want bread by dinner time. It makes a 1 kg loaf, I usually use an oblong 1kg banneton.

Ingredients

100 grams of levain (started the night before)
350 grams of water
500 grams of all purpose flour
10 grams salt

Method

  1. In a large mixer bowl, put warm water, stir in levain, and add flour.
  2. Attach dough hook and mix on low – medium for a few minutes until well mixed.
  3. Remove dough hook and leave in the bowl, then cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and leave for 30 minutes.
  4. Re attach dough hook, add salt, and mix on low-medium for about 4-5 minutes.
  5. VERY lightly oil a large bowl, put dough in bowl, cover loosely with plastic, and put in warm place to rise. I put mine in my oven on “Proof” but you can also put it in the oven with the light on and that usually keeps it warm enough.
  6. Set timer for 30 minutes, and then do a Stretch and Fold. (See the complicated post for photos on how to do this. It takes about 10 seconds to do.)
  7. Repeat this process every half hour for 2 hours, for a total of four “Stretch and Folds”.
  8. Leave in oven, lightly covered for another 2 hours. Can be longer, but dough needs to have a good rise. This can vary a LOT depending on the strength of your starter, the warmth of your kitchen, and many other little things. It can take time and experience to know when it is “ready.”
  9. When the dough is sufficiently risen, turn it out onto a floured board and try not to deflate it too much.
  10. Let it sit, covered with a tea towel, for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Do your first loaf forming – long or round, depending on what you are cooking it on. (See the long version of the recipe for more info, and watch the video in the link. This take practice to learn not to deflate it while still creating tension on the loaf.)
  12. Leave it for another 15-20 minutes then repeat the formation of the loaf.
  13. Flour a 1 kg size banneton very well and put loaf into banneton, seam side up. Cover with tea towel, and put in warm place to rise for 2-4 hours.
  14. When the loaf looks like it’s almost risen enough, preheat your oven, and baking stone or cast iron pan to 500° for 45-60 minutes.
  15. About 5-10 minutes before you are going to bake, put a baking tray (old 9×13?) in the bottom of your hot oven and carefully pour in 1-2 cups of water. Close oven and allow the steam to build.
  16. When you’re ready to bake, put a sheet of parchment on a cutting board and trim the corners of the parchment a little because they get a bit “toasty” in the hot oven.
  17. Loosen the edges of the loaf a little to make sure it’s not sticking to the banneton, then turn out your loaf, upside down, onto the parchment.
  18. Have a sharp knife handy to score the top of the loaf before you put it into the oven. Don’t dawdle, you want to score and get it into the oven quickly before it deflates (See full recipe for ideas on how to do this. This is another thing that takes practice.)
  19. Pick up the cutting board and carefully slide the loaf and parchment onto the stone in your very hot oven. Be careful! I usually hold the board with one hand and grab the parchment and drag the loaf onto the hot stone.
  20. Close the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 450°.
  21. Bake for 20-21 minutes, or until internal bread temperature on instant read thermometer is about 200°.
  22. Remove loaf to a cooling rack and try not to cut into it for as long as you can. Good luck.

VERY Rough Time Frame Example

The night before, mix about 75 grams warm water, 75 grams AP flour, and a big spoon of starter from the fridge. Cover lightly with plastic and leave on the counter overnight. It should become bubbly levain by morning

8:00 Mix water, flour, levain, leave to sit 30 minutes
8:30 Add salt, and mix again, put in bowl in warm place
9:00 Stretch and fold #1
9:30 Stretch and fold #2
10:00 Stretch and fold #3
10:30 Stretch and fold #4
12:30 Remove from oven, dump onto floured board
12:50 Form loaf roughly
1:10 Form loaf again, put into banneton, let rise 2-4 hours
If you want to do a cold ferment, after the loaf has risen, cover it lightly with plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for 12-48 hours. Then bake as usual. I have found it tends to stick to the banneton when I do this.
3:30 Preheat oven and stone to 500°
4:20 Add water in pan to create steam
4:30 Bake loaf for 20 minutes


Equipment Needed

  • A baking stone for an oblong loaf, or a large cast iron pan for a round loaf. I have not made a 1kg loaf in a round pan so I don’t know if the recipe might need to be cut down to 750 grams or ?. Google it. 🙂
  • Large bowl or large plastic container for proofing (rising)
  • A banneton – 1 kg oblong, or whatever size round. When I first started, I found a random basket that looked about the right size, and lined it with a light tea towel and floured it REALLY well. It wasn’t bad, but a banneton is better.
  • A flat cutting board
  • A very sharp knife, or a razor blade for scoring
  • Parchment paper
  • An instant read thermometer is nice – no guessing if the bread is ready that way.
  • An old 9×13 or ? baking pan to act as a steam tray in the bottom of your oven
  • You can make this without a mixer, doing it by hand, but just skip the mixing part and maybe do more stretch and folds. I have used my mixer for so long that I can’t remember exactly what I did before. 🙂

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