Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sourdough Bread: Part 2 – The Finished Loaf

Welcome to part two in this series for how to make your own sourdough bread, using nothing more than flour, water, a little salt, and a whole lot of time. 

Yes, making your own sourdough does take a while, but the amount of actual work is minimal, and the bread you’ll get is spectacular…at least in San Francisco. Your results may vary.

While I’ve made sourdough before, I’ve never actually had to provide specific measurements, which is why I’ll credit Northwest Sourdough once again, since the amounts below were slightly adapted from there. Speaking of which, anything you’re not sure about after watching this, can be cleared up by visiting Teresa’s amazing channel.

If you don’t have a banneton, you can simply line a similarly sized bowl with a tightly woven cotton kitchen towel, which has been generously coated with rice flour. I’ve used that before, and it works exactly the same. The only difference is the wooden basket “breathes,” unlike a metal bowl, but I don’t think that’s a huge deal.

Since the wild yeast and bacteria that make this bread work vary from one part of the country/world to another, I can’t guarantee you’ll get the same results I did, but nevertheless, I really do think you should try anyway. In fact, if you do have some success, I’d love to see the results posted on Twitter for all to see.  Good luck, and as always, enjoy!

Ingredients for one loaf:
100 grams starter
250 grams water
8 grams kosher salt
394 grams white bread flour
(You’ll also need rice flour for the 10-inch banneton)

- Let ferment for 4 hours, “folding” at the 2 hour mark
- Form loaf and transfer into prepped banneton
- “Retard” dough in fridge for 10-12 hours
- Let rise in warm spot for 3 to 5 hours or until it passes “poke test”
- Bake at 450 F. for 25 to 30 minutes


Unknown said...

Looks phenomenal! Food wish ... Sour dough starter pizza dough. As always, please and thank you.

Bruce said...

Hi Chef: Is a 8 1/2 inch diameter banneton ok or should I get a 10 incher? Best wishes, Bruce

Unknown said...

Hello chef John, can the rest of the starter be saved for later use? How would you store it? Thanks for this and all your recipes, it looks like a lot of work but i looove good bread and i appreciate a challenge, I'll definitely give it a try☺

Unknown said...

Can I use whole wheat flour for the starter.

I've made many of your recipes. and watch your to relax .


Unknown said...

love watching your videos to relax. And I have made many of your recipes. they don't always come out the same as yours, but almost always good.

Question, can I use whole wheat flour to make the starter. I bought a bag of whole wheat flour recently, and its pretty coarse. and don't l know what to do with it. I made your beer bread with it in a 50/50 mix and came out a little dense.


Stickers 4 Smiles said...

Can I bake this in a loaf pan for uniform slices?

beemo said...

Chef John, I was thinking "naah, too much work, too long" etc. until I heard your comment about missing the point of LIFE. That made me feel ashamed, so I prepared my first ever sourdough starter.

I don't know if it will work in this nasty Canadian climate but I'll keep at it for a few days. Also I suppose I could start it with a pinch of yeast.

Unknown said...

Hi Chef,
Can I retard the dough longer than 12 hours? I work 12 hours shifts, was hoping to ferment/form it on a day off, then bake it the following day after work. Thank you!

Lovely Princess ❤️ said...

its testy

puttermuch said...

Hi Chef,
What size banneton do you use?

Trevor Cole said...

Terrific video as usual. As someone who makes sourdough bread frequently at home, I have a couple of bits of info for you:

1. The "fold" is intended to develop the gluten of the bread and make it stronger. The reason you don't notice much difference between not doing it, and doing one fold, is that you should be doing more than one fold. Three or four at least, at 30-min intervals as the dough rises. It's not much work, and it will develop the gluten nicely.

2. There's no need to brush off the flour left when you turn out the dough from the banneton. In fact, the flour left on the dough leaves a lovely design of concentric rings. It's one of the pleasures of using a banneton!

3. You're absolutely right about the wonderful sense of satisfaction that comes from making your own sourdough bread. It's become one of my favourite pastimes and I highly recommend it.

Unknown said...

I use a banneton all the time and and have found that spraying it with some non-stick cooking spray (coconut oil) before I sprinkling in the rice flour works really well. You can actually wash your banneton if you're worried - it just needs time to dry.

I have also found that using a preheated baking surface keeps the dough from spreading too much - so I do use a pizza stone, but you can also use a cast iron skillet, or even a baking sheet. You just need to use a pizza peel or another baking sheet to slide your dough and parchment onto the preheated surface.

Chef John said...

I just added a note, but I used a 10-inch banneton.

Anonymous said...

So I decided after 5 days of getting the starter to make a loaf today. It's just finished it's 4 hour rise and I'm ready to do the fridge thing on the dough. It looks pretty good, tastes good too. Yeah, you can tell by raw dough how it's gonna be.

beemo said...

Well it's a few days after starting the starter -- I had to use a bit of yeast to kick its ass -- it seems to be working beautifully, bubbles, alcohol, interesting odors etc. I'm sure that only a stroke of very bad luck could possibly come between me and a fine final loaf.

Thomas Hughes said...

Hola Chef John,

I live in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and the "gusanitos" [natural yeast and bacs] here seem really nice, sweet, and sour. I started on the third, and I have my bread retarding now (at 21:00). I shall pull it at 09:00, and I shall bake it up some hours after that. I don't have Twitter; however, I shall try to post a picture by e-mail - as I saw that option somewhere. I'm glad you made the "big time" with "Allrecipes"! I lived in your neck of the woods in '88 aboard a USCG Buoy Tender [WLB-390] on Yerba Buena Island.


Tom :D

Thomas Hughes said...

Hola Chef John,

The bread came out smashingly well! I think I shall give it a go as a pizza dough next. I ferment my pizza dough for some two to three days anyway. As I open the ball, I could let it rest about an hour on the peel, dress it, then fire away. I'll use a 60% hydration. NB: I know this was ;) , but I used a Pyrex water bath in the bottom of the oven ... hm ... bad idea ... HAHA! ... just warning your fans who like to experiment as I do. Again, GREAT BREAD!



P.S. - Where may I post some pictures?

Unknown said...

Can i just say i love you!!!!
I don't know how you do it but when i follow your recipe, no matter how hard it looks, it always come out delicious.
Really worth the work and really fun to do

beemo said...

I'm afraid my starter hasn't risen at all during the testing phase, and after reading a number of online sources which relate the difficulties of making sourdough bread, I've decided to abandon the project. Clearly, this area of cooking is not for me. But at least now I know how the real stuff should be made! Fascinating videos.

Chris T said...

Typically you operate under the "take a penny, leave a penny rule" and replace the exact amount of water and flour you just took out. So you'd back 50 grams of fresh water and 50 grams of flour to the Mother Starter, right? This perpetually restores the starter and gives it fresh food periodically. If you put it in the fridge you can slow the yeast growth and only need to discard/use a portion every couple of weeks. You can keep an active starter indefinitely if it's feed and maintained properly. You can also split the starter in half and share it with a friend and start a new Mother Starter and see who bakes the finer loaf.

Matt Dick said...

I'm on my second loaf attempt and *everything* I'm doing I'm doing according to instruction, down to the ingredient and down to the gram... but my loaves end up being much drier than your videos.

Is anyone else having that experience? Any ideas?


Matt Dick said...

Has anyone else had the problem of following the recipe exactly, but ending up with a much dryer dough? Any ideas on what might be happening?

I am using bread dough and spelt, bottled water and everything looks and smells great.


Informatics and me said...

Hi chef John,

The French baguettes have similar hydration(65%) as the hydration of sourdough (62%), the if disregarding retarding time, the bulk fermentation is also similar. And I actually use preferment for my baguettes as well.

So in the end what's the difference that make a sourdough bread dough distinguish from a French baguette dough?


Elyce said...

Finally got around to making this, and it turned out great!
The starter did take a longer than stated because of my own error. My house was too cold, and I didn't leave enough room for air because of how I put the lid on.
Once I realized and fixed the issues, it was smooth sailing. I've made two loafs so far that turned out how I wanted.


Unknown said...

Great video, Chef John!

The reason for folding the dough during the first 4-hour proofing is to build the gluten, texture and crumb of the finished loaf.

You need to fold the sourdough ball 4 times (once every 30 minutes) and by the fourth fold, the dough will be silky smooth.

When doing the four folds, it’s important to fold gently and not tear the dough and also to trap as much air into each fold as possible, which will make the finished loaf airy.

You’re the best, Chef John!

Tonya said...

Thank you Chef John.

Randal Baier said...

I know this would be sacrilege, but has anyone ever tried baking in a machine -- in lieu of oven? My oven is kaput, so I've been baking in a machine. Funny breads, but it works. You can set it for bake only mode.

Unknown said...

Chef John, I have been baking my own sourdough breads for several years and I must say this recipe gives me the best and most consistent results. I have made a couple adjustments that I wanted to share with you which work well for me.

During the 4 hours the dough is fermenting, I fold it every 30 minutes for a total of 8 times. The other modification I make is to place the fully risen dough in a cold dutch oven, cover with the lid and place it in a cold oven then set the baking temp to 450 F as you recommend. The warm up of the oven provides me with a fantastic oven spring and the closed dutch oven traps all the steam coming from the dough. Of course I add time to the overall bake to allow for the oven warm up (say an additional 10 min). I pull the lid off after 20 minutes or so and finish baking until I get a solid 190-205 F internal temp.

Thank you for your wonderful videos. You provide the most thorough instruction of anyone out there.

Galb said...

I dont understand how can it build enough gluten without kneading? Why most teachers say must knead 10 minutes
I see that your bread came out with a thin and soft crust, maybe thats for no kneading?
Can anyone explain ? Thanks

Unknown said...

Why does everyone ask questions? Do they get answered? lol

steve said...

I find that adding 100g of grated cheese and 1-2T of herbs to this dough gives a nice cheese bread. I usually use shredded Parmesan and an Italian herb mix, but I've also had good results with sharp Cheddar.
I also experimented with whole wheat flours. It seems to work best with more hydration--I've settled on 275g of water with KA white WW flour. It's not quite the same chewy crumb as with bread flour, of course (I never get quite the gluten development with WW as with white flour), and the loaf ends up a bit flatter, but it's pretty good.

Unknown said...

What hydration percentage would you say this was at?

$heilla said...

@Chef John

I have tried twice, following your instructions to a tee including the proof in the oven technique. My dough gets crusty after refrigeration and doesn't rise at all in the 5 hour proof and gets crustier on the bottom so the old poke test is useless due to the crust. I even tried misting the dough before proofing in the oven, still got crusty. When I turn out the bannaton, it's flat and useless. WTH am I doing wrong? My starter, Yeastie Boi, is amazing, the bread is depressing.

Unknown said...

$heilla try putting the bannaton inside a food grade plastic bag (like a bag from a very large Pane of bread) then place it in the fridge. This will keep it from skinning over.

RickM said...

In the video you say if you aren't using a banneton you would show/describe how to prepare what you are using.
I prepared starter exactly to your instructions and used a loaf pan which I sprinkled reg flour. Result was amazing!

PJ said...

This is now my go to recipe......except I use:
94g wholemeal bread flower, seived once to get rid of the larger bran fibre pieces.
300g extra strong Canadian white bread flour, from Waitrose here in the UK.

To fit with mine and my wife’s working day, we’ve retarded the dough for up to 15 hours, and the final rise for over 5 with no issues with the finished product.

Love it.

Unknown said...

Standard measurements? cups and Tablespoons? Please.