I was experimenting with different ways of making sourdough bread since it isn’t always convenient to start the process and be ready for shaping in only 4 hours or so. There are days where I’d prefer to just mix up my flours and come back at the end of the day to shape the bread.
Usually, sourdough breads use between 17 – 22% (baker’s percentages) for the bulk rise to finish in around 4 hours. But adjusting the amount of starter allows you to vary the length of the bulk rise. And, of course the longer the bulk rise the less folding is need for great gluten development and the more intense the sourdough flavor.
This version I made using only 8% starter and it took about 9 hours for bulk rise. But you don’t have to be too precise for this. I’ve gone anywhere from 8 – 12 hours with little difference in the outcome.
Step 1: Mix the water and starter together then add all the flours.
Step 2: Once this is mostly incorporated add the salt and continue mixing until there isn’t any dry flour remaining. You can put this into a clean bowel or scrap down the sides of the bowl you are using and just let the bread rise in this container. Cover the bread with a clean towel, plastic wrap or other cover so that it doesn’t dry out and just let it sit until it’s almost doubled in size. Depending on the temperature of the room it will take anywhere from 8- 12 hours. If you want you can stretch and fold a few times during the initial 4 hours. It really isn’t necessary but there is something satisfying about touching the dough as it becomes more pliable and soft.
After the bulk rise, do a quick final shaping but remember the dough is very delicate and without deflating it just form it into a ball. Then you can put it into a dutch oven or…
The bread comes out looking very rustic.
- 80 grams of 50/50 starter
- 800 grams water
- 500 grams whole wheat flour
- 250 grams white whole wheat flour
- 250 grams bread flour
- 20 grams salt