- 2 cups white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups starter
- 1 spoonful fine salt
- 1 spoonful sesame seeds (optional)
- Semolina flour to prevent sticking when scoring loaf (optional; regular flour also works)
- 2 spoonfuls olive oil
- 1.5 cups water
First, make sure that your sourdough starter is bubbly and active. You’ll need two cups of it for this recipe. A good rhythm is to take your sourdough starter out of the fridge the day before you plan to bake and start feeding it, stir in a half cup of flour and some water a couple of times in the day and let it get nice and bubbly. I like to leave it overnight then start the bread the following morning.
- Mix dry ingredients in bowl, then add olive oil and starter, and gradually mix in water until the dough is wet and sticky but can hold a shape.
- Allow the dough to rest for ~10 min.
- Knead for about 10 min, adding flour as needed but sparingly so the dough doesn’t become too stiff. I find that I can sometimes use the stickiness of the dough to help with stretching during kneading. A bench scraper comes in very handy for this.
- During this process, the dough should become much more stretchy and elastic!
- Place into lightly oiled pot, covered with plastic wrap, for ~3 hours of fermentation. Every 45 min or so, gently stretch the dough and fold it over itself a few times. You want to let the dough stretch as much as possible, but don’t tug it – allow the gluten to release on its own, and try to avoid tearing the dough.
- Form a loaf and place into a covered proofing basket for 2 hours. It should expand significantly during this time.
- My loaf didn’t quite double, but it did get larger. When it’s soft and pillowy, it’s ready to bake.
- I don’t have a proofing basket, but I find that a small colander lined with a floured dish towel works well.
- Start pre-heating the oven to 500F before the proof is finished. Place your pot in the oven so it’s already hot when you transfer the dough to it.
- Transfer the dough out of the proofing basket and onto a work surface covered lightly in semolina flour. (Regular flour is fine too, but I like the texture of the semolina).
- Lightly score the dough (I have a razor blade from a safety razor that works well for this). This is easiest if done quickly and decisively.
- Transfer the dough to the pot. This is also easiest if you do it quickly. I like to pick up the cutting board and slide the dough into the pot as fast as possible, then I shake the pot side to side a little if I need to realign the dough inside of it. Don’t overthink it.
- Bake at 500F in a covered pot for 30 min followed by 15 min at 450F in an uncovered pot (or until your desired crustiness).