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Yanker/Parkang Family Cookbook

Sourdough Bread


Notes: This recipe takes a long time. You don’t want to invest all day in making bread, and then be on the verge of giving up because it’s midnight. I make the leaven the night before, and then I start on the dough early the next morning.

Leaven - 12 hours

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon active sourdough starter, 75 grams all-purpose flour, and 75 grams water in a large bowl and mix thoroughly to form a thick batter.
  2. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight, about 12 hours.

Dough - 40 minutes to 4 hours

  1. Mix the leaven and 475 grams water. Stir with a spoon and dissolve the leaven into the water.
  2. Mix in 700 grams all-purpose flour
  3. Rest the dough (30 minutes, or up to 4 hours). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.

Add in salt

  1. In a seperate bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon salt into 50 grams of the water.
  2. Mix in the salt water into the dough. Work the liquid and salt into the dough by pinching and squeezing the dough. The dough will feel quite wet and loose at this point.

Dough Folding - 2.5 hours

  1. To fold the dough, grab the dough at one side, lift it up, and fold it over on top of itself.
  2. Fold the dough four times, moving clockwise from the top of the bowl (or giving the bowl a quarter turn in between folds).
  3. Let the dough rest 30 minutes
  4. Then repeat the folding process a total of 6 times.

Notes: The dough will start out shaggy and very loose, but will gradually smooth out and become tighter as you continue folding.

First Rise - 0.5 to 1 hours

  1. Let the dough rise - 0.5 to 1 hours

Shaping the loaves - 40 minutes

  1. Sprinkle some flour on a work surface and turn the dough out. Work gently to avoid deflating the dough. Use a pastry scraper to divide the dough in half.
  2. Sprinkle a little flour over each piece of dough.
  3. Shape them into rounds by slipping your pastry scraper under the edge of the dough and then scraping it around curve of the dough. Do this a few times to build the surface tension in the dough. Flour your pastry scraper as needed to keep it from sticking to the dough.
  4. Rest the dough (20 to 30 minutes).
  5. Dust the bannetons heavily with flour, rubbing the flour into the cloth on the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. Use more flour than you think you’ll need.
  6. Shape the loaves. Dust the top of one of the balls of dough with flour. Flip it over with a pastry scraper so that the floured side is against the board and the un-floured, sticky surface is up. Shape the loaf much like you folded the dough earlier: Grab the lip of the dough at the bottom, pull it gently up, then fold it over onto the center of the dough. Repeat with the right and left side of the dough. Repeat with the top of the dough, but once you fold it downward, use your thumb to grab the bottom lip again and gently roll the dough right-side up. If it’s not quite a round or doesn’t seem taut to you, cup your palms around the dough and rotate it against the counter to shape it up. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  7. Transfer to the bannetons. Dust the tops and sides of the shaped loaves generously with flour. Place them into the bannetons upside down, so the seams from shaping are on top.

Final Rise - 3 to 4 hours

  1. Cover the baskets loosely with plastic wrap. Let them rise at room temperature until they look billowy and poofy, 3 to 4 hours.

Baking - 1.5 hours

  1. Place dutch oven in the oven, and heat the oven to 500°F
  2. Carefully put one loaf into the hot dutch oven
  3. Quickly score the top of the loaf
  4. Cover and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and continue baking 5 minutes. This gives color/crunch to the loaf.
  6. Cool loaf to room temperature on a wire rack
  7. Repeat for second loaf

Notes: 1/6/2021 - Baked at 6k ft elevation - Reduced lid-on baking time to 20 minutes, and lid-off baking time to 5 minutes. The original 15 minute lid-off baking time has historically produced too much crunch. 5 minutes was great for color and texture.

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