This Sourdough Artisan Bread is perfect whether you’re just starting out with sourdough or if you’re a little more seasoned. It’s perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with a beautiful sourdough flavor! If you prefer a non-sourdough crusty bread, check out my Homemade Artisan Bread!
For the Levain:
- 27g active starter (fed and bubbly, at it’s peak)- if you need a starter here’s my recipe
- 135g King Arthur Bread Flour
- 135g filtered water- refrigerator water works fine
For the Dough:
- The entire prepared levain
- 560g warm filtered water (80℉)
- 900g King Arthur bread flour
- 27g fine sea salt + 20g water
How To Make Sourdough Artisan Bread
Two days before you’re wanting to bake the bread, prepare the levain in the evening. For example, I made my levain on Friday night and baked my bread on Sunday morning. To do this, in a small glass bowl, combine 27 grams of your starter, 135 grams of bread flour, and 135g of filtered water. Cover with a tea towel and leave on the counter to ferment overnight. It will rise and get super bubbly.
The next morning, you’ll need several hours of time set aside to be able to make the dough and complete the stretch and folds.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 560g of warm (80℉) water, the entire prepared levain, and 900g of bread flour. Mix this combination together with your hands until there is no dry bits left. You really cannot over-mix at this point. When fully combined, cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
Combine 27g of fine sea salt and 20g of water.
Stretch and Folds
Stretching and folding the dough strengthens the gluten and the volume of the bread. For this bread, you’ll do 4 stretch and folds, letting the dough rest for 30 minutes in between each one.
For the first one, have your salt and water mixture ready. Wet your hands to prevent the dough from sticking, then sprinkle 2-3 spoonfuls of the salt water over the dough. Grab the dough from one side of the bowl, stretch the dough straight up, then bring it across the opposite side and tuck it in. Spin the bowl slightly and repeat your way all the way around the bowl. Work the salt water into the dough sporadically during this first fold. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Fold 1 –> Rest 30 minutes (incorporate salt into the dough)
Fold 2 –> Rest 30 minutes
Fold 3 –> Rest 30 minutes
Fold 4 –> Rest 5-8 hours or until doubled in size
Shaping The Loaves
Line 2 bowls with a tea towel and lightly sprinkle with flour. Set aside. Dump out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut the dough in half to make 2 loaves. Pinch up the outside edges of the dough and gather them into the center to create a seam. Round out the loaves and place them seam side up into the prepared bowls. Place dough in the fridge overnight or up to 36 hours to further ferment.
When you’re ready to bake your loaves, place your dutch oven in the oven with the lid on and preheat the oven to 500℉. Dump the prepared loaves out onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper. Dust the tops of the loaves with flour and score with a bread lame. When the oven is preheated, carefully remove the dutch oven and place the loaf on the parchment paper inside. Replace the lid, lower the oven to 450℉, and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid of the dutch oven and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Repeat with the other loaf. Place the loaves on a wire cooling rack for 2-3 hours to rest before slicing.