Dutch Oven Sourdough

Ingredients:
100g sourdough starter
375g water (divided into 350g and 25g)
500g flour (I used a mix 100g rye, 250g wheat, 150g white)
10g salt

Equipment:
Dutch Oven

Bread always intimidated me – I made it once a few years back and it was terrible, and so I followed that age-old saying: if you don’t immediately succeed, just quit because it’s not worth it. So that was my thinking, and it worked pretty well until I moved to a city where there weren’t really any good bakeries nearby. My first foray into baking was a no-knead bread, and once I decided I wanted to mix it up a little bit, I figured I should have a sourdough starter. I eventually stepped up to the Tartine sourdough recipe from the New York Times (link), but it’s a little time consuming, so I’ve adapted it. While it’s probably not quite as good as their recipe, it takes a lot less time, so it’s become my go-to busy weekend bread.

Before getting into the recipe, a quick note on the starter. First off, it’s not really that hard to make  – I just followed (ish) the instructions from King Arthur flour (link), and forced myself to be patient. I have some in the fridge now, and feed it basically every week when I take it out and bake on the weekends. Also, while the majority of the starter guides I saw online say use rye flour, I just used organic white flour and have had no issues, so that’s one way to go if you want to save some bucks since rye flour is a little spendy and can be hard to find.

Okay, so we have the starter:

starter.jpg

 

1. Measure 100g of the starter into a bowlstarter in bowl.jpg

2. Mix in 350g of the water in with the starter, then add 500g of flour. I used a mix of rye, wheat, and white, but I think it’s probably pretty flexible here. As long as it’s around 500g, I have had success with a range of different types of flour.

flour in bowl 1

3. Mix around the flour with the water and the starter. The dough will look rough and ragged, and will still be a little sticky. Set it aside for 30-45 minutes, and cover the top with a towel.

flour in bowl 2

4. Add in the 10g of salt and the remaining 25g of water, and start kneading it in. The dough may break a part a little bit, but that’s fine – keep going and it will come back together. Should take a few minutes, maybe 3 or 4, to get it to come together.

flour in bowl 4

5. Alright, so now you’re done adding stuff – the rest of this is just some folding, waiting, then baking. First, on the folding – after the dough has rested for around half an hour, moisten your hand and grab under the dough, pulling up one side and folding it over itself, rotating the bowl a quarter turn, and doing it all for all four sides. The picture below shows one side pulled up over itself.
flour folded
6. Okay, so just let it rest for half an hour, then do the folding thing again. The recipe I based this on has you doing this every 30 minutes over the course of 3 hours. I was a little bit lazier, and probably only did it a couple times over a few hours. After a few hours, flour a surface, turn it out onto the surface, and form it into a ball.
dusted flour ball
7. Cover it with a towel and let it sit. I would say a few hours, but if you only have 30 or 45 minutes, I think it’s probably still okay. 30 minutes before you decide to put this little guy in the oven, turn it on to 450, and put the dutch oven in there too so it heats up. Make sure the oven has been on and at temp for at least 20 or 30 minutes with the dutch oven in there. When you’re ready to put it in, flip the dough in the dutch oven, make a cross-wise cut in the top of the dough, put the top on the dutch oven, and put in back in to make the magic happen.

8. After 30 minutes with the top on, pull the top off and give it another 20 minutes in the oven. Depending on how dark you want it, you may want to pull it out a little bit earlier. Pull it out, and put the bread on a cooling rack.

bread on placemat

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Dutch Oven Sourdough

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