Country Sourdough Loaf | Simply Bread Recipe

February 29th, 2024
The Simply Bread Team
Read Time: 4 Minutes
Meet Simply Bread Co customer Kevin Grenz (@MeloBread)

Country Sourdough Loaf | Simply Bread Recipe

February 29th, 2024
The Simply Bread Team
Read Time: 4 Minutes

What if we told you nothing beats a classic and traditional Country Sourdough Loaf? Flour, water, levain, and salt. That's it. And the results are impressive. Every. Time. 

Baking a loaf of bread from scratch can be intimidating when you've just begun to explore the sourdough world. But let us be honest, "bulk fermentation" and "cold retard" are just some fancy words for "patiently waiting"; shaping and scoring simply mean you get to play with some dough and draw whatever you'd like … not so complicated now, is it? 

So we went back to the basics and decided to guide you through a simple yet delicious sourdough loaf recipe, the perfect place to start if you're a beginner, or the perfect recipe to try even if you're well-versed in the sourdough universe. Below is a recipe video recorded with James Bridges in our corporate kitchen, the list of ingredients, and the step-by-step process to follow. 

And don't forget, in baking, like in life, no matter how it looks like on the outside, what matters is what's on the inside ;) 

I N G R E D I E N T S 

Yield 1 Country Sourdough Loaf of 850g.

Measurements can be multiplied.

Bakers' Percentages are in parentheses.

I N S T R U C T I O N S 

Make Levain the Night Before - levain is fed 1:10:10 and allowed to ferment overnight until at least doubled. Levain should be active, bubbly and with a mildly acidic aroma/flavor. 

STEP #1 - Mix the Dough

Combine the water, levain, and flour, while holding back 10% of the water.

Mix on low for 3-4 minutes, until a shaggy dough is formed with no dry spots.

Rest for 20 minutes, then add salt and mix medium for 6-8 minutes.

Finally, add the remaining water and mix until the dough fully comes together.

STEP #2 - Bulk Fermentation

Transfer the dough into a container for bulk fermentation.

After 30-45 minutes of bulk fermentation, perform a coil fold.

After performing the coil fold, leave the dough to bulk ferment.

Let the dough rest for 3-4 hours at room temperature, until it is light and jiggly.

Notes: You might need to perform a second coil fold, depending on your dough and its temperature. For example, bulk fermentation would be about 4 hours at 80°F, and it could be 6-7 hours at 75°F. 

STEP #3 - Weight and Pre-Shape the Dough

Divide the dough into portions of 850 grams each.

Pre-shape each portion of dough.

Let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the fermentation level of the dough, before doing the final shaping.

STEP #4 - Shape the Dough

Toss some dusting flour on the dough to keep one side sticky.

Perform a letter fold: shape the dough into a rough rectangular shape. Then, fold 1/3 of the right side in, and 1/3 of the left side in. Roll the dough starting from its top into a barrel shape, pushing down to seal the seam as you go, then add tension to fully seal the seam at the bottom. 

Flip it upside down and transfer it to a proofing bread basket.

Let the dough rest 30-60 minutes in a banneton until domed on top, then retard in fridge overnight. 

STEP #5 - Score the Dough

Dump the dough on your baking mat and score each loaf.

STEP #6 - Bake the Country Sourdough Loaf

Preheat your oven to  500°F.

Steam once (5 seconds) before loading, then twice after loading (10 seconds).

Bake the dough under steam for 20 minutes.

Then, release the steam and keep baking for another 20 minutes.

Et voilà!

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