Yields 2 Loaves
Prep Time - 24 hours
Bake Time - 1 hour
1 T active sourdough starter
1/2 c all-purpose or bread flour
1/3 c luke warm water
2 c luke warm water
5 1/2 c all-purpose or bread flour
salt water (1/4 c water + 1 T salt dissolved)
plastic wrap or kitchen towels
pastry scraper or knife
proofing baskets or bowls
dutch oven with a lid
sharp knife for scoring bread
1. Mix together your leaven and let it sit over night for about 12 hours.
2. Add water and flour to leaven to create shaggy dough. Cover and let rest for 30 mins-4 hours.
3. In a small bowl or measuring cup create salt water. Stir continually to dissolve salt.
4. Mix saltwater into shaggy dough by pinching and squeezing the dough. Continue to combine until no saltwater is left at the bottom of your bowl.
5. Fold dough four times by moving clockwise around your bowl. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes, then fold dough again to same way. Continue to let rest 30 minutes between each time you fold the dough. Do this 6 times total, covering and resting each time.
6. Let dough rest undisturbed for 30-60 minutes, covered.
7. Dump dough out of bowl onto a floured surface. Using pastry scraper, divide dough in half.
8. Roll each half of the dough into balls that are tight and smooth on the top. Pinch and twist the bottom to close the dough.
9. Prepare two proofing baskets or bowls by lining them with flour sack towels. Coat each towel with a layer of flour and use your fingers to rub the flour into the towels. You will use more flour than you think you need.
10. Lay dough balls upside down in the proofing baskets. Dust the bottom of the dough (the side facing up) with flour and fold the towel lightly over the top of the dough. Let the dough proof for 3-4 hours. You can also proof them over night in the fridge. Cover your baskets or bowls with plastic wrap if you put them in the fridge so they don't absorb any odors or dry out.
11. Preheat oven, with dutch oven inside, to 500ºF.
12. Remove dutch oven and gently tip the dough loaf into the dutch oven so that the side of your loaf that was up in your proofing basket is now on the bottom of the dutch oven. Using a sharp knife, score the top of your loaf at a slight angle.
13. Cover your dutch oven with the lid, and bake for 20 minutes.
14. Reduce oven temperature to 450ºF and continue baking with the lid on for another 10 minutes.
15. Remove lid and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until desired color has been reached.
16. Let cool a few minutes in the dutch oven, then transfer to a cooling rack. If cooling over night, place in a gallon ziploc bag and leave the bag open until morning.