I found a better recipe for sourdough bread, although it takes a couple of days to make it. The first loaf of bread that I learned to make was a simple recipe that only took a day to make, but it came out kind of dense.
This new loaf is more hydrated and comes out a bit airier.
This will be the bread I will probably be baking for our “daily” bread. The instructions for making this bread can be found here.
This is not my recipe. Someone else made this and then posted how she did it, at the link I provided. I am reposting it here just in case the link breaks someday. All notes included in this recipe belong to the person who wrote it.
Pierre Nury’s Rustic Light Rye – © Daniel Leader, Local Breads
Makes 2 long free-form loaves (18 ounces/518 grams each)Time:
8 – 12 hours to prepare the levain
20 minutes to mix and rest the dough
10 to 12 minutes to knead
3 to 4 hours to ferment
12 to 24 hours to retard
20 to 30 minutes to bake
45 grams – stiff dough levain(45%)
50 grams – water (50%)
95 grams – bread flour, preferably high-gluten (I used KA Sir Lancelot) (95%)
5 grams – stone-ground whole wheat flour (5%)
Prepare levain by kneading and place into a covered container. Let stand at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees F) for 8 to 12 hours until it has risen into a dome and has doubled in volume.*
400 grams – water (80%)
450 grams – bread flour, preferably high-gluten (I used Sir Lancelot) (90%)
50 grams – fine or medium rye flour (I used KA medium) (10%)
125 grams – levain starter**
10 grams – sea salt (I used kosher)
Pour water into bowl of a stand mixer. Add the bread flour and rye flour and stir until it absorbs all of the water and a dough forms. Cover and autolyse for 20 minutes.
Add the levain and salt. By machine, mix on medium speed (4 on a Kitchenaid mixer) until it is glossy, smooth and very stretchy for 12 to 14 minutes. ***This dough is very sticky and will not clear the sides of the bowl. Give the dough a windowpane test to judge its readiness by gently stretching a golf-ball sized piece until it is thin enough to see through and not tear. If it tears mix for another 1 to 2 minutes and test again. To get maximum volume in the baked loaf, make sure not to under-knead.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled container and cover. Leave to rise at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) for 1 hour. It will inflate only slightly.
Turn: (stretch and fold):
Turn the dough twice at 1-hour intervals. After second turn, cover dough and leave to rise until it expands into a dome twice its original size, 1 to 2 hours more. ****It will feel supple, airy, and less sticky.
Place the container in the refrigerator and allow the dough to ferment slowly for 12 to 24 hours. It will develop flavor but not rise significantly. Two to 3 hours before you want to bake, remove from refrigerator and let stand on the counter, covered. It will not rise and will feel cool.
Preheat oven: About 1 hour before baking heat oven (with baking stone) to 450°F.
Scrape dough onto floured counter and coat the top of the dough with flour. Press the mound of dough into a rough 10-inch square. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces (18 ounces/518 grams each). With floured hands, lift up one piece from the ends and in one smooth motion, gently stretch it to about 12 inches long and let it fall in whatever shape it may onto parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough, spacing the two pieces at least 2 inches apart.(No need to score.)
Steam oven as usual. Immediately after shaping, slide loaves, on the parchment, onto the baking stone. Bake until crust underneath the swirls of flour is walnut-colored, 20 to 30 minutes.
Cool on wire rack for about 1 hour before slicing. Don’t be surprised by the long troughs running through the crumb. This is part of the bread’s character.
Store loaves with cut side covered in plastic at room temp for 3 to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze in resealable plastic bags for up to 1 month.
*Leader says to allow the levain only to double in the amount of time noted. My starter more than tripled in less than 6 hours so at that time I mixed the dough. I think this may have slowed my fermentation way down since my starter had not fully risen and collapsed but I find I am always at odds with Leader’s instructions on firm starters.
**The levain recipe calls for ingredients which make up more than is needed for the dough recipe which I find problematic only because it bugs me. I want instructions for making the amount I need for a recipe and not to have any levain as leftover. He does this in some recipes and not in others so to me that is another flaw in their editing. Just make sure you weigh the proper amount for the dough recipe.
***I used a DLX mixer at about medium speed for roughly 10 to 12 minutes.
****My dough did not rise more than about 25% (if that) in the container in more than three hours after fermentation started. Again, I think that was due to using my levain too soon. I chose to place the dough in my pantry overnight to rise instead of the refrigerator since it had not doubled as it was supposed to by that time. My pantry is very cold at 62°F now as it is on an outside wall and this allowed a good spot for the dough to ferment overnight instead. It rose to just over double by the time I was ready to bake it. That fermentation took about 17 hours total.