Routine of Sourdough

Feb. 20, 2019, 10:34 a.m.

When you take your starter home from class, refresh it either that day or the next day.  This is how you do it.

Put 10 grams of your starter in a small bowl.  Scrape it off the zip bag with a dinner knife.

Add 30 grams of warm water (no warmer than 100 degrees)

Mix this with a fork until it is MOSTLY dissolved and the water is creamy.

Then add 60 grams of einkorn all-purpose flour.  Stir with a fork until all the flour is absorbed.

This process takes maybe two minutes.

Set the bowl out on your counter for 5 to 12 hours until it has increased in size and bubbles a little.

When this happens, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator in a dark spot until your are ready to make bread.  You can leave it their for up to a month, BUT it's better to take it out every week and make something with it or refresh it.

You're done with your starter.  

The night before you want to make bread....

Go to your refrigerator and get out your starter.

Measure out 30 grams of the starter into a medium bowl.  

Put the plastic back on your bowl of starter and put it back into the refrigerator.

Add 130 grams of warm water (no more than 100 degrees) to the starter you measured out into the medium bowl.  Stir this mixture with a fork until it is mostly dissolved and the water is creamy.

Add 120 grams of einkorn all-purpose flour and stir with a fork until the flour is absorbed.

Put a cover or some plastic wrap on the bowl and set it in a dark, warm place in your house.  You have just made your levain.  This process takes maybe 5 minutes. 

Then go to bed.

The next morning, make your dough.....

Get your levain from whever you put it.  

Add 315 grams of warm water (no more than 100 degrees) to the bowl and stir until mixed.  Set aside. 

In a large bowl, measure out 600 grams of einkorn all-purpose flour.

Add the the flour 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt.  Stir a little.

Pour your levain mixture into this big bowl of flour and mix with either a stiff spatula or your einkorn mixing tool.  Stir until all the flour is absorbed.

This takes maybe 5 - 7 minutes.

Put a plate over the bowl and walk away for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, sprinkle some einkorn all-purpose flour on your clean counter or a board or whatever surface you have.  

Using a bowl scraper, scrape all the dough out onto the floured surface.

Sprinkle a little flour on top (emphasis on little) and USING YOUR BENCH SCRAPER fold the dough onto the center on each side.  Don't touch it with your hands until you've done this.  It will be really sticky and that's what you want.  Resist with all you have to add more flour to resemble a traditional bread dough - you will end up baking a hockey puck.

When you have folded the dough onto itself with the bench scraper, then you can touch it with your hands and knead it gently once or twice (I said one or twice - not 1 or two minutes) until it's a more pulled-together dough.

Put this back into the big bowl and sprinkle flour on the top.    This takes maybe 5 minutes. 

Cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place for at least 3 hours.  After 3 hours check to see if your dough has risen.  It will not rise drastically, but it will double in size.  If it hasn't risen enough let it proof another hour.  Check it again.  Keep doing this until it has risen and doubled in size.

When this has happened, flour your counter or other surface again and, using your bowl scraper, scrape the dough out onto the counter and repeat the process of folding the dough onto itself and then kneading gently once or twice.

Generously flour your proofing basket.  Turn the dough over so the seam side is on the counter.  Cup the dough with both hands and rotate in a circular motion between your hands until you have a tight round loaf.  

Put the dough, seam side down, into the proofing basket.  Dust the dough generously with flour and put an inverted bowl on top.  This process takes about 5 minutes. 

Set this basket in a warm place and allow it to rise until the dough has risen above the top of the basket.  This might take 1 hour up to an hour and a half.

As you allow your dough to proof, heat your oven to 500 degrees.  Put the rack in the lower half of the oven.  Set your Dutch oven in the oven with the lid on and allow it to heat in the oven for at least 30 minutes.

When the dough is risen, take the Dutch oven out of the oven carefully - it will be really hot.  Remove the lid and set it aside. 

Take your basket and invert it over the top of the Dutch oven and shake it a little and the dough will fall out.  If it doesn't land directly in the center, don't panic.  Wait a couple of seconds and shake the Dutch oven.  The dough will reposition in the pan. 

Slash the top of the dough with a lame or a razor blade.

Put the lid back on the Dutch oven and set it back into your oven.  This takes maybe 2 minutes.

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees and set your timer for 40 minutes.

When the timer goes off, remove the top of the Dutch oven and allow the bread to cook another 5 minutes to brown the crust (if it needs to be).

After this 5 minutes, remove the bread with oven mitts and set it on a cooling rack.  

Let it cool - you're supposed to let it cool for 2 hours - but your can tear into it whenever you want.

After it is completely cooled, you can set it in an airproof container or put it on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap for 3 - 4 days.  It won't last much longer than that, although toward the end of this time, it will be ok if you toast it.

If you have a small family and can't eat a whole loaf before it molds, you can cut it in half and freeze half.  When you are ready to thaw, leave it in the plastic you froze it in until it is completely thawed.

This amount of time it takes to make this bread is almost 24 hours, BUT the amount of active time is only 24 minutes.  Anyone can take the time to do it.  I hope this set-by-step instruction helps you.

When you start to run low on starter (you ALWAYS need at least 10 grams), repeat the process at the beginning of this post.