Sourdough Bread Part 3: How to Make Bread

Ingredients for the Dough:

780 grams warm water

20 grams salt

200 grams leaven

350 grams unbleached all-purpose flour

650 grams whole wheat flour


(8-12 hours before you want to make bread you will need to feed your starter, which is also known as creating a leaven. This step was explained previously in my blog post Sourdough Bread Part 2.)

  1. Set a large mixing bowl on top of a food scale. Turn the scale on, set the unit of measurement to grams, and make sure that the weight reads zero.

  2. Add the warm water and salt to the bowl. The total for the two ingredients should be 800 grams.

  3. Add 200 grams of leaven. The scale should now read 1,000 grams.

  4. Gently stir the leaven, water, and salt with your hand.

  5. Add all of the flour. The scale should now read 2,000 grams. Place the bowl on the counter and use your hand to gently combine the wet and dry ingredients. Do not knead the dough or use a lot of pressure during this process. The dough should be rough looking rather than smooth.

  6. Once the ingredients are well combined pat a small amount of water on top of the dough to keep it from drying out and cover with a kitchen towel.

  7. After one hour has passed you are going to turn the dough with a wet hand by reaching into the bottom of the bowl and pulling the dough up and inward. Make quarter turns with the bowl as you repeat this process 6-8 times. Pat a small amount of water on the top of the dough, and set the kitchen towel back over the bowl for another hour.

  8. Repeat step 9 at the 2 and 3 hour mark for a total of 3 turns.

  9. At the four hour mark do not turn the dough. Instead, remove the kitchen towel from the bowl, use a small amount of flour to dust your work surface, and dump out the dough from the bowl onto the floured surface.

  10. Use a pastry knife to divide the dough into two equal parts.

  11. Use your hands to gently roll the edges of the dough under to create a rectangular shaped loaf.

  12. Use cooking spray to grease the inside of two large bread pans (I like to use a 12x4.5” loaf pan) and set the loaves inside.

  13. Let the bread rise for 1-2 hours on the counter. I usually do 2 hours during the colder months and 1-1 ½ hours during the warmer months.

  14. When you are ready to bake the bread preheat the oven to 500° F. Then reduce the heat to 425° F and bake for 35 minutes.

Notes: The leftover leaven, also known as your "discard" can be returned to your starter in the fridge and saved for sourdough waffles or the next time you make bread.

If you are a visual learner, check out my Instagram account for a video tutorial of how to make this bread.

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