If you’re looking for an airy sourdough that doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to flavor, then this air sourdough recipe is for you. It’s a little trickier than the simple beginner’s sourdough recipe I posted about earlier, but definitely doable. This is for all those challenge seekers out there.
I’m always on the search for a new sourdough recipe and this particular recipe sans the rosemary and garlic, came to me by way Instagram. Weirdly enough, Instagram has opened me up to a lot of new and different recipes, food combinations, bakers and chefs. It’s something that I had not been expecting when I first joined Instagram, a little late in the game, during quarantine time.
This loaf I gleaned from James Morton’s (yes, James Morton from the Great British Baking Show. I know, I have a problem) Instagram page. I hope you like it as much as I do!
If you’re new to sourdough, this loaf has a hydration of 76%, so to make it easier to work with, you could reduce the amount of water in the dough. The resulting bread just might not be as airy as it would be if all of the water had been added.
I like to randomly add in spices to my sourdough and the last time I made this recipe, I happened to throw in some dried rosemary from my garden and some garlic. Feel free to add any spices or flavor combinations you wish or omit them all for a pared back, but still delicious sourdough flavor.
Airy Sourdough Recipe:
Makes 2 loaves
- 600g bread flour
- 150 g rye flour
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 650g water
- 250g active starter
- 21g salt
- Dried rosemary and garlic powder to taste, optional
Step 1: Combine all of the flours into a large bowl and then add in the water and active starter. Mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon. Once the mixture starts to come together, add in the salt and spices (if using). Mix again until fully combined.
Step 2: Let rise in the oven with the oven off, oven light on and the oven door cracked open. This will provide a nice warm environment for the bread to proove in. This is called the bulk rise. Leave for four hours. Every hour, remove from the oven, and stretch and fold your dough for about 1 to 1-1/2 minute each time (a total of 3 stretches and folds, don’t fold after the fourth hour). This will build up the gluten in the dough, helping you to achieve a nice, airy structure.
Step 3: After the four hour bulk rise, it’s time to shape the dough. Divide the dough in two. Then take a bench scraper and shape each piece of dough into a round ball by using a bench scraper and moving it in circular motions in between your work surface and the dough. Once you have a nice and taught surface on the top of the bread and a circular shape, rub the top of the dough gently with a coating of flour. Then tip the dough over so the floured side is making contact with the work surface. Pat the dough gently into a rectangle shape. Grab ahold of one side of the rectangle and take it halfway over to the other side of the rectangle. Then grab the other side of the rectangle and take that up and over the previous fold all the way over to the other side of the dough (making a sausage like shape). Turn the dough so the seam is running away from you and roll the dough up tightly.
Step 4: Place the dough in a banneton or bowl lined with a flour-covered linen towel with the seam side up and the floured side down. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag. Place this in the fridge for 12 hours.
Step 5: After 12 hours, place a Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 475ºF for 45 minutes to an hour. After 45 minutes, take the dough out of the oven and remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Place a piece of parchment paper over the bowl that the dough is in and with your hand on top of the parchment paper, invert the bowl so the dough falls gently onto the paper (and therefore, your hand). Take the lid off of the Dutch oven and place the dough into it. Make a slash down the middle with a sharp knife or razor blade.
Step 6: Put the lid back on the Dutch oven and put back in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the bread is a dark, caramelized color.
Step 7: Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing and digging in.