- 2 1/ 4 cups bread flour
- 1 3/ 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 3/ 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup sourdough leaven
About 4-8 hours before your final mix you'll want to feed your sourdough culture with 1/2 cup warm (80ºF) water, 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup ripe culture. This will give you enough sourdough culture for the formula with just enough left over that you can feed it again and keep it going for future baking!
In a large bowl mix the flours and water. After incorporating the ingredients into a shaggy mass, cover the bowl and let it sit anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. This is the autolyse time and will help hydrate your flour.
After the autolyse, add the salt and leaven to the dough. Add a few tablespoons of water if needed. Knead, fold and massage the salt and leaven into the dough until fully incorporated. The dough should be somewhat loose and craggy. Cover the bowl and let the dough relax.
Over the next 1 1/2 hours fold the dough every 30 minutes for a total of 3 folds, stretching it just a bit with each fold. After the first fold the dough will become more shiny, uniform and stronger.
After the last fold you can cover the bowl again and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured table and shape it into a boule that could be proofed upside down in a linen lined basket or in a large loaf pan.
If you want to bake your bread on the same day, leave it to proof at room temperature for 3-4 hours, depending on the room's temperature. If you prefer to bake it later, cover the dough and refrigerate it for 8-24 hours.
For a hearth loaf, bake either in a cast iron dutch oven with the lid on, or on a pizza stone. For a pan loaf, simply bake in the pan you used. Preheat the oven and cast iron/pizza stone to 500ºF about 1 hour before baking.
When the dough is fully risen and the oven is heated, score the loaf with a thin, sharp blade in whatever pattern you want.
Bake for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 465ºF (and take off the lid, if baking in a dutch oven.) Bake for another 15-20 minutes, depending on your desired color/crust.