This rustic sourdough loaf is typically what most people think of when you say sourdough bread. It has an artisan crumb, not too open, which makes it bread that can be used in different ways.
It is usually scored to direct the oven spring, and for many bakers the aim is to get an "ear" - that piece of crust that rises up and pulls away from the rest of the loaf.
Rustic Sourdough Loaf
This bread is a crowd pleaser and not to mention an easy way to impress friends and family with your bread-making skills.
This bread is easy to make in a planetary mixer with a dough hook attachment, or you can follow the steps and knead by hand using the "slap & fold*" method. For a professional looking result prove the dough in a banneton and cook on a pizza stone or in a dutch oven. Biowheat "Course" White bread flour is absolutely perfect for this rustic bake.
- 200g Motherdough (refreshed)
- 360g Water (filtered, room temperature)
- 400g White bread flour
- 11g Salt
- Rice flour for dusting
- Break or cut the Motherdough into chunks and place in the mixing bowl. Leave to soak in the water for 15 minutes to soften.
- With the mixer on at a low speed, sprinkle the flour into the water and motherdough at a slow pour until most of the flour has been mixed into the water. Cover and leave this mass to autolyse for 2 hours.
- Add the salt to the mass and knead on a medium speed until a smooth elastic dough is achieved. Approx 10 minutes or until the dough passes the kneading poke test.
- Remove from the bowl and knead by hand for 2 minutes to settle the dough.
- Execute 4 X stretch & fold on the dough and rest covered on counter for 30 min. Perform another 4 stretch & fold, form into a ball with the seam at the bottom and place in a bowl brushed with cooking oil. Cover with cling-wrap and rest for 1 hour.
- Place in the fridge at 6 deg C for 12 hours for a slow bulk fermentation.
After bulk fermentation:
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured counter and gently stretch the dough out into a loose rectangle. Fold the dough in half, long ways down the middle and gently press the open side closed. Roll the dough from the short side along the length and leave to rest a minute or two with the seam below. Invert the dough and tuck the sides toward the centre and pull dough from the sides to the middle in a gentle criss cross action, pinching the dough at the seam. Place the shaped dough seam-side up in a banneton dusted liberally with rice flour.
- Place the banneton in a large plastic bag and leave to rest until double in size. The dough should also pass the proving poke test. This final proof could take 2-4 hours depending on room temperature. Remember that the poke test and the increase in volume of the dough is a better indicator of optimum proving than time elapsed.
- Preheat the oven to 250 deg. C. with either your baking stone or dutch oven. (You can also do this on a baking tray).
- When the dough is properly proofed, tip it onto a piece of floured baking paper. Gentle support the dough with a hand and use the other hand to score the bread with a lame.
- Slide dough onto the preheated stone or tray directly in the oven. (If using a Dutch oven, follow the steps in the Pane Cafone recipe from this point)
- Using a spray bottle, spray the sides and floor oven the oven and quickly close the door to create steam. Reduce temperature to 200 deg. C and bake for 30 minutes.
- 180 deg. C and bake for another 20 minutes or until it looks "crusty" and browned.
- Finally, use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door slightly cracked to allow steam to escape and bake the bread for a further 15 minutes.
- Take the bread out of the oven and let the bread come to room temperature before you slice it. The cooling process is an important part of the cooking cycle.
The approximate final baked weight: 725g
Level of difficulty: Easy, basic technical challenges
Skills to develop: Manage wet dough, stretch & fold, patience
*See our blog post on kneading techniques for more information. If you don't have a banneton, improvise using a well floured cloth in a roasting pan, loaf tin or even a sieve or colander for a boule (round shape loaf).