This is my third attempt at sourdough! Not quite as good as the first attempt, I have to admit. But still so good. So good. My second attempt was quite a fail, as I baked the whole recipe which made two loaves. I think one loaf is a lot easier to focus on, easier to handle.
I made a single score along the top, as Tartine does, which is simple, elegant, and beautiful. The only issue with this bread is that the oven rack was just a notch too high, and it got a little burnt. Maybe lowering the rack will also fix the issue of the bread being a little too soft. Irregardless*, the crust is exquisite and the crumb has so many bubbles. This recipe is from Tartine, featured on NYT cooking. The end of quarantine can’t come soon enough. I need to go to Tartine, just a train ride away.
This time, I made my own rice flour to dust the bread. My food processor is rather old and clunky, and it was not easy to process my rice into flour. I don’t think it made much of a difference compared to whole wheat flour, because it’s just for dusting purposes. I will have to go back to the Tartine video on youtube to see the purpose of rice flour, because I forgot. My conclusion is: if you don’t have a high-power food processor, just buy your rice flour from the store. Better yet, just use whole wheat flour.
*I just listened to a podcast by Every Little Thing about trying to add words into the dictionary. The guest speaker, who used to work for Merriam Webster, said that she used to loathe the word “irregardless,” but now she loves it. She explained that “irregardless” and “regardless” have about the same meaning, yet people’s persistent complaints of the word actually cause the usage to remain steady, keeping it in print. The listeners had entered words that they hoped would be added to the dictionary, and the three finalists were: “niblings” (like siblings, but for nieces and nephews), “pregret” (regretting something beforehand), and “pistracted” (getting distracted from your need to pee). Personally, I think “pregret” has the greatest chance of making it to the dictionary. “Niblings” just makes me uncomfortable.
- 100 grams leaven (starter)
- 450 grams bread flour
- 50 grams whole-wheat flour
- 20 grams fine sea salt
- rice and/or whole-wheat flour for dusting
- Stir the starter and 350 grams of warm water (bath water temperature, to promote growth) with one hand holding the bowl and one hand mixing.
- Add the bread flour and whole-wheat flour until now streaks of dry flour remain. The dough will be sticky and ragged. Let rest towel-covered for 25 to 40 minutes at room temperature.
- Add salt and 50 grams warm water, using your hands to integrate thoroughly, keep mixing until the dough comes back together.
- Cover with a towel and transfer to a warm environment, such as your turned-off oven with the light on. Rise for 3 hours. Every 30 minutes, perform stretch-and-folds. (Wet your hand with water, pull up the edge of the dough and stretch. Before it breaks, fold it over the dough straight across. Do this four times total on the four sides of your dough.) At the end, the dough should be billowy.
- Transfer dough to a work surface and work into a taut ball, using flour as needed. Let rest towel-covered for 30 minutes.
Use rice and/or whole-wheat flour to dust bread-proofing baskets.
- Fold the dough like you are folding a piece of paper in on itself from all 4 sides. Shape into a taut ball.
- Transfer round, seam-side up, into the prepared basket. Let the dough rise for 10 to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and allow it to return to room temperature. Place a Dutch oven into the oven, heat to 500F for 30 minutes.
- Dust the top of the dough and then gently turn it into the heated Dutch oven. Score the top of the dough to allow for expansion.
- Reduce the oven to 450F and bake for 20 minutes covered (to prevent the crust from developing too early), 20 minutes uncovered (to bake a beautiful crust). Note: The longer you cook it uncovered, the thicker your crust will be.
- Remove from oven and Dutch oven immediately and cool at least 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!