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small batch sourdough bread



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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total: 7 hours, 35 minutes

Servings: 6

Cost: $2.00 /serving


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Step 1

If your sourdough starter is not ready to go, and is stored in the fridge, take it out and feed it 12 hours in advance. Discard half of the old starter and add 50 grams all-purpose flour and 50 grams water. Let it rise for 6 hours or until doubled in size.

Step 2

Take out a spoonful of new starter and drop it into a glass of room-temperature water. If it floats, the starter is ready. If it sinks, you either need to let the starter sit longer to develop more bubbles, or feed it again and let it sit until it passes the float test (usually 6–12 hours).

Step 3

In a large mixing bowl, add sourdough starter, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and water, and whisk to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl (there should be no dry flour particles visible). Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for one hour. The technique is called autolyse.

Step 4

Add salt and fold into the dough for a few seconds to combine. Salt slows down yeast growth in the fermentation process, so it is recommended to incorporate it after allowing the dough to rise for an hour first.

Step 5

Apply some water on your hands and stretch and fold the dough in the bowl by folding the edges over to the centre, one edge at a time. Wet hands makes it easier to work with the dough and it should take you less than a minute to fold all 4 sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Step 6

Stretch and fold the dough again, cover, and let dough rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat this step one final time -- stretch and fold the dough, cover, and let it rest for 30 minutes, until it almost doubles in size. It takes about 2.5 hours total rise time from the start for the first rise to happen (bulk fermentation).

Step 7

Transfer dough to a floured surface and sprinkle dough with a little flour. Shape the dough into a tight ball by folding the edges over to the centre. Stretch the dough a little and fold all four sides to the centre like wrapping a present. Turn the dough over and use your bench scraper to push the dough back and forth to create a tight ball. Repeat this motion until the surface of the dough appears tight.

Step 8

Line a medium-sized bowl (approximately 6x6-inches in diameter) with a clean dishcloth. Generously flour the dishcloth so that the dough doesn't stick to the dishcloth. Place the ball of dough top side down into the lined bowl. Cover the bowl with a lid or another towel so that the dough won’t lose moisture and dry out.

Step 9

Let the dough rest it at room temperature for approximately 3 to 3.5 hours (OR transfer the bowl into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight for 8 to 12 hrs).

Step 10

Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and place it upside down onto the centre of a 9x9-inch piece of parchment paper.

Step 11

Use a razor blade to score the dough to allow it to expand during baking. You can get creative with your design.

Step 12

Place the dough together with parchment paper back into the same medium size bowl and cover with a towel until the oven is preheated.

Step 13

Place a small oven-safe cooking pot (6x6-inches) with a metal lid into the oven and preheat to 450° F.

Step 14

Take out the parchment paper and dough from the bowl and gently place them both into the preheated pot. Cover the lid and bake for 30 minutes.

Step 15

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to bake the bread uncovered in the oven for another 20-25 more minutes. (Longer bake time will yield crustier bread).

Step 16

Remove the bread from the pot, and take off the parchment paper. Allow the bread to cool down completely on a cooling rack for one hour.  To check if the bread is done, you can tap the bottom of the bread with your finger. The bread will sound hollow when it's are done.

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