Having fresh baked bread in the house is one of my favorite things! This loaf is simple and a delicious way to remove one more packaged item from the grocery list :)
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This traditional sourdough loaf recipe is simple and guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Always crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with those beautiful sourdough bubbles. This pretty much gets eaten up every week, but even if somehow we don't eat it fast enough, I use the last pieces to make french toast on Saturday morning! *drool*
I bake some kind of sourdough loaf every weekend so my routine is to take Sergio (my sourdough starter) out of the fridge Friday morning so he gets all warmed up and bubbly. Then I feed him Friday evening and leave him covered with a tea towel overnight. By Saturday morning he is all active and ready to use. Depending on my schedule, I either make the dough early Saturday morning, let it rise all day and then bake at night, or I make the dough Saturday afternoon, proof in the evening and do my second proof overnight in the fridge, pull out the dough Sunday morning for several hours and then bake Sunday afternoon.
Don't have a sourdough starter yet? Learn How to Make Sourdough Starter from Scratch.
SOURDOUGH SANDWICH LOAF
Yields: 1 loaf
Bake Time: 45 min.
Remove starter from fridge the morning before making dough. Feed your starter that evening and leave on the counter overnight covered by a tea towel.
The next morning, make the dough by mixing the starter and water in a glass bowl. Once whisked together, add salt and flour.
Mix until all the flour is off the walls of the bowl and all ingredients are incorporated into the dough.
Cover bowl with damp tea towel and place in a warm place to rise. (On warm sunny days, I place mine on the back porch in the sun. If it's chilly outside, I place in a sun-soaked window sill)
After one hour, perform the first round of lift and tucks. Lift one edge of the dough and pull it across the top, tucking on the opposite side. Turn bowl 90° and repeat until all 4 sides have been lifted and tucked. Re-cover with damp tea towel and place back in warm place for another hour. This process helps add volume to the dough.
Repeat two more rounds of lift and tucks each after another hour of proofing in a warm spot covered by the tea towel.
After the third round of lift and tucks, place the dough, covered in the tea towel, back in the warm spot for about 5 hours or until the dough has about doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a dutch oven, place parchment paper in the bottom. If you are like me and almost always out of parchment paper 🙈, you can coat the bottom with a generous sprinkle of corn meal to keep the bread from sticking.
Pour the dough onto a clean surface. You do not want to flour the surface because you will use the surface tension between the dough and the counter to create a tight ball.
Do one more series of lift and tucks on the counter to create a ball. Place the ball seam side down on the counter.
Cupping your hands with your fingers tightly next to each other, tighten the dough ball by placing your hands on the dough opposite your body. With your pinkies flush against the counter and gently drag the sides of the dough toward your body and tuck it under itself. This should tighten the ball using the surface tension with the counter. Repeat this cup and drag motion until you have a tight ball.
Transfer the ball to the dutch oven.
Score the dough by slicing into it about an inch deep with a sharp knife. You can score in whatever pattern you like.
Once the oven is preheated, bake the loaf for 25 minutes with the lid on the dutch oven.
After the 25 minutes, remove the lid of the dutch oven and bake another 20 minutes.
Remove the loaf from the oven, pull the bread out of the dutch oven and let cool on a grate.
Wait at least 1 hour before slicing into your loaf.
What are your favorite sourdough recipes? Tell me in the comments.