My Secret to Perfect Sourdough

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    After practicing my sourdough technique for the past 3 years…I’ve finally figured out the key to pocket-y, airy sourdough! To preface, I have to start by saying practice makes perfect. Even after getting the starter just right, there are still many other steps within the sourdough making process that requires patience, time, and practice. But, I’ve found that without a good starter, no matter how good your folding technique is or how special your bread oven is, your bread just won’t puff up.

    It all starts with a really healthy starter.

    If you’re new to sourdough, starter is the yeast mixture that helps rise the dough and give it its unique sour taste! Rather than getting yeast from a packet, you’re getting yeast and bacteria from the starter.

    All of these techniques I’ve learned from the great master of sourdough, Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery. If you’re ever able to come across a Tartine (currently only in LA and San Francisco) you MUST try their breads and pastries. It’ll change your life.

    Now on to the recipe!

    Serving Size: 1 loaf



    Ingredients 〰️

    • Starter:

      • 100g all purpose unbleached flour mixed with 75-100g of filtered water

    • Bread dough:

      • 100 grams of starter

      • 350 grams of water heated to 80 degree Fahrenheit + 25 grams of water for later use

      • 450 grams all purpose unbleached flour

      • 50 grams whole wheat flour

      • 10 grams salt

      • A few tbsps of rice flour (NON GLUTINOUS)

    • Special tools:



    Instructions 〰️

    • To get the starter started, mix together the AP flour with filtered water in a tall jar.

    • Make sure there’s enough room in the jar for the mixture to double in size.

    • Let it sit in the kitchen undisturbed with a loose fitting lid for 2 days.

    • On the third day, the mixture should be very bubbly and smell lightly sweet like overripe fruit. It should have also risen 30% in volume too!

    • Get rid of 75% of the mixture then add in fresh flour and water mixture in the same quantities.

    • Let it ferment another day and check on when it starts to bubble and volume should have increased about 20-30% in size.

    • Once it’s doubling in size within 24 hours of refreshing it, it’s ready to use!

      • If you ever need to go away for a few days, stick the starter in the freezer to halt its growth process

      • Once you’re back, let it thaw and feed it fresh again to start the process

    • The day before you want to start the dough making process, save 2 tbsps of the starter and mix with 100 grams of warm water and 50 grams of all purpose unbleached flour and 50 grams of whole wheat flour.

    • By the morning or 12 hours later, it should be very bubbly and have risen in volume.

    • To test if its ready, drop a tbsp in a bowl of water. If it floats, then its ready! If it sank, then let it ferment for a few hours longer. Once the leaven floats, it’s ready to use.

    • Add the warm water to a large bowl, then drop in the 100 grams of starter. Stir the starter so it dissolves fully in the water, then add in the flours.

    • Mix with your hands until the flour is fully hydrated and forms a dough. Keep a bench scraper or firm spatula nearby to help scrape the dough off your hands. It’s going to be pretty sticky!

    • Let it rest for 30 mins then it’s time to add in the salt and 25 grams of water.

    • Start by sprinkling a bit of water on the dough then sprinkling in the salt and folding the dough to spread the salt through. Do this in batches until all the salt is incorporated.

    • Transfer the dough to a thick walled glass bowl or plastic container so you can see how the dough is developing over time. This will be important in determining how long to keep the dough fermenting. Cover the dough with a cloth so it doesn’t dry out.

    • Now it’s time to go through the folding and 3-4 hour bulk fermentation process!

      • Note: Try to keep the dough in a warm place the entire time — I do it by heating up a cast iron pot until slightly hot, then placing it in the oven to keep the oven warm.

      • After 30 mins, take the dough out and give it a “turn” by grabbing the underside of the dough from one side, stretching it up, then folding it over the dough. Do this to all four sides of the dough, then place it back in the warm spot to ferment.

      • Keep doing this every 30 mins until you’ve done 6 turns or until 3 hours have passed.

      • At this point the surface of the dough should feel aerated and much softer and the dough itself has risen by 20-30%.

    • After the bulk fermentation it’s time to fold!

      • Take out all the dough onto an un-floured surface.

      • Lightly dust the surface with a bit of all purpose flour.

      • Flip the dough so the dusted side is on the surface now. Now fold the dough onto itself so that the floured part of the dough becomes the outside.

      • Work the dough into a ball then let it rest on the surface for 20-30 mins, uncovered. Just make sure there’s no wind on it!

      • After the rest, it’s time to fold. Once again dust the top of the dough with a little flour and flip.

      • Fold the part of the dough closest to you over the middle of the dough itself. Next take the left or right piece of dough and stretch it out and fold it over the middle of the dough. Do the same to the other side, like an envelope.

      • Finally take the dough piece furthest from you, stretch it out, then fold it all the way over the entire dough. Make sure it’s nice and tight!

    • Get the bread basket and dust the lining with 50/50 mixture of AP flour and rice flour.

    • Take the folded dough and gently flip it so the seam side is facing up. Place it gently into the bread basket. Place the basket into a plastic bag, close tightly so no air goes in and place it in the fridge to proof for 12 hours.

    • Now it’s time to bake!

      • 1 hour before you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven with the dutch oven inside at 500F.

      • Take the bread out of the fridge now to let it come to room temp and gather the tools you’ll need like oven mitts, the lame, and the 50/50 rice flour and AP flour mixture.

      • Dust the exposed bottom of the loaf in the bread basket with the 50/50 mixture.

      • Once the dutch oven is screaming hot, carefully take it out and dust the bottom with rice flour and ap flour mixture.

      • Gently flip the bread basket and drop the dough into the center.

      • Make a cut in the center of the loaf, making sure to cut 1/4 inch deep at least! The cut allows the bread to expand and take its full shape when baking.

      • Carefully close the dutch oven and place it back in the oven to bake for 20 mins. Immediately turn the heat down to 450F.

      • After 20 mins, remove the top of the dutch oven and let the loaf bake another 20-25 mins or until deeply golden brown.

      • Remove from the dutch oven and place on a wire rack to allow the loaf to fully cool. MAKE SURE TO NOT CUT INTO IT UNTIL IT’S COOLED! Otherwise the structure of the bread will not hold.

    • Enjoy with butter and salt :D