So far, my sourdough loaves have not been very sour. My starter is young, and I think that might have something to do with it. To make this have that familiar sourdough tang, I used a more mature starter, less starter than usual so that I can extend the resting times, skipped the autolyze step, mixed in a little whole grain (wheat or rye works) because they contain complex carbohydrates, which results in a higher production of acetic acid, and used a warm proofing temperature throughout.
*King Arthur has a Extra Tangy Sourdough Bread recipe that suggests adding 1/4 ~ 1/2 tsp citric acid if you really want that sour boost.
STEP 1: Activate starter (4~6 hours)
Feed your starter so you can use it when it is active/mature. Mine usually takes between 4~6 hours, depending on the temperature. Keep it close by, so you can monitor the rise, and use it when it’s mature, and not starting to fall. My starter is a 1:1:1 ratio, i.e. 100g flour + 100g starter + 100g water.
STEP 2: Mix dough
- 20g levain (active starter)
- 350g lukewarm water (room temperature)
- 450g bread flour (all purpose is okay, too)
- 50g rye or whole wheat flour
- 10g salt
- Gently whisk the levain (your active starter) with the water to thoroughly combine.
- Add the flour and salt and mix with your hands by picking up portions and squeezing through your fingers, until flour is thoroughly incorporated. Use the dough to pick up areas that have dried flour to incorporate.
- Rub your hands together to remove bits of dough and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Cover and let rest for 4 hours in a warm place.
STEP 2: Fold Dough
- Pick up one end, stretch it up, and fold it over almost to the other side. Pick up that side, stretch it up and fold it to cover. Now fold the other sides in the same way. Don’t worry about scraps of dough in the pan, they’ll get covered as the dough spreads overnight.
- Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Repeat step one, cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- If it looks to be holding it’s shape a little better, then stop. If not, do another fold. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- By now it should be ready for it’s big rest. Keeping it in the same warm place, let it rest overnight about 12-13 hours. If your house is cool in the evening, find a warm place like the oven with the light on and the door cracked. I read a recommendation to place it on top of the water heater. You just want it to be somewhere in a consistent 72-75 temperature.
STEP 1: Shape dough
- Gently turn your dough out onto a lightly oiled surface if it’s a wooden counter. If it’s granite or Formica, you don’t need the oil.
- Follow the video instructions on the tips page on how to shape your dough into an oval (batard) or round (boule) shape
- Prepare a proofing basket or a banetton, and place the dough in, seam side up.
- Cover with plastic wrap then proof in fridge for 6-8 hours.
Step 2: Bake
- Preheat oven and pot with a lid to 500.
- When it’s ready, remove bread from fridge and score. This is a great scoring tutorial from Breadtopia, with four videos for visual instruction.
- Bake at 475 for 20 minutes, then remove lid and back for 15-20 longer.