Here's a recipe that was featured at our 2010 Taste! Organic Connecticut festival!
TRADITIONAL SOURDOUGH RECIPE – adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread – makes 2 large loaves
4.8 oz (1 c) bread flour
6 oz (3/4 c) water
1 oz (2T) sourdough culture
1 lb, 8 oz (5 ½ c) bread flour
3.2 oz (7/8 c) rye flour
14.8 oz (1 7/8 c) water
10.8 oz Levain (all less 2T)
STEP 1 – Mix the Levain Build 12-16 hours before the Final Dough mix. Let stand at room temp in a covered container. Note - If you have 11.8 oz of ripe sourdough starter (i.e. – fed within the past 8-10 hours and a frothy quality), you can use your starter as a substitute for this step.
STEP 2 – Mix the Final Dough using all ingredients except the salt (be sure to remove 2T of the Levain Build first). Mix briefly by hand or mixer until it is a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for 20-60 minutes for autolyse phase. (This helps the dough become easier to handle, absorb the water, and become more porous inside). Uncover dough – it should have expanded, spread, and softened during the rest period. Now sprinkle salt over the dough and knead by hand or mixer until the dough can be shaped into a tacky but smooth ball (about 2 min at 2nd speed by mixer or up to 5 minutes by hand).
STEP 3 – Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl (olive oil works great). Cover tightly. Place in a warm place and let the dough rise for 2 1/2 hours. Hammerlan recommends “folding” the dough twice at 50 minutes intervals during this phase. This technique will even out temperature, de-gas the dough, and make it stronger. The fold consists of a four-way fold, as if making an envelope. Flour your surface enough to avoid sticking, but be careful to brush off as much raw flour as possible using this technique. Use your fingers to gently press the dough into a flat shape, then execute the four folds from top, bottom, left, and right. When finished folding, put the new boule-shaped dough back into the bowl with the smooth side facing up. This top side of the boule should remain the top side of your final loaf.
STEP 4 – Divide dough into two pieces. In order to make a basic boule, simply lift each piece of dough from the surface, gently pull the edges tighter down toward the bottom. There should be no tears in the surface. The boule will feel a little more firm, like a softball. Pinch at the bottom. Turn over and place in a lightly floured banneton (the pinched end will be facing up).
STEP 5 - Final Fermentation – Preferably delay in fridge overnight, or for baking at the same day then at room temp, for 2 ½ hours. If using the fridge, place bannetons into the refrigerator for 8 – 12 hours, or longer, but not more than 18 hours. Make sure the banneton is inside a plastic bag or else the dough exterior may dry out and inhibit the oven rise during the bake.
STEP 6 –Prepare for baking. Remove bannetons from refrigerator. Loosen plastic covering. Let rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours while preheating the oven at 460 degrees. Put your baking stone into the oven on the top shelf. About 15 minutes before baking boil some water in a kettle (to be used for creating steam effect). Place a baking sheet on the second (lower) shelf of the oven.
STEP 7 – Baking. Using a peel or the back of a cookie sheet, lightly flour the surface and turn the banneton over onto the peel. Using a lame, score the bread, then quickly slide it into the oven onto the baking stone. Use 1 c. of water and pour carefully onto the baking sheet immediately after the bread is in the oven. **Be careful during this step to protect your hand from the burst of steam and also use a dishtowel draped across the glass in the oven door to avoid any possible shattering from spitting water. [There are other techniques to do this at home using a spritzer a few times in the first 5 min of baking, but it can compromise the oven temp and potentially shatter glass in the oven if you’re not careful.] Bake for 40-45 minutes. The finished loaf should have a hollow thumping sound when the bottom is tapped and a fairly rich deep brown exterior.
- Thank you to Jiff Martin for this wonderful recipe!