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Even Better Sourdough Bread

I've been baking a loaf a week for the last 9 months and I must say I'm getting pretty good. But my bread still didn't have that bubbly light texture. I found a YouTube video by The Regular Chef that provided some tips on how to improve my bread, and sure enough it worked. Here are my new steps for baking even better sourdough bread:


  • 250ml (grams) of filtered room temp water
  • 10g kosher salt (about 2 tsp)
  • 175g sourdough starter
  • 300g bread flour (or 50/50 all purpose and whole wheat flour)
  • 60g whole wheat flour
  • Have a bowl of water handy to wet your hands to minimize dough from sticking to them.
  • Mix the ingredients starting with the water, then the salt to dissolve, then the starter, then the flour. Ideally using a stand mixer, form into a dough and Jerry the machine knead for 5 minutes. The dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but just barely. If too much dough is sticking, add more whole wheat flour a teaspoon at a time. 
  • Cover the dough in the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or even a plate or lid and set out for 25 min.
  • Perform the first stretch and fold by grabbing an edge of the dough and stretching it up and to the other side. Rotate the dough slighting and do again. Perform this a total of eight times around the dough. Cover and set out for 25 min.
  • Perform the second stretch and fold by repeating the process. Cover and set out for 25 min.
  • Perform the third stretch and fold again repeating the process. Flip the dough over and fold the edges under to form a rough dough ball shape. Cover and set out for 25 min.
  • For the fourth stretch, do a coil fold by lifting the dough and allowing the ends to droop. Then drop the dough back down. Rotate 180 degrees and do this again. Then rotate 90 degrees and repeat for the other two sides. Cover and set out for 25 min.
  • For the fifth stretch, repeat the coil fold process. Cover and set out for 10 min.
  • Dump the dough out on the counter. For the rest of the steps, handle the dough gently to preserve the airiness.
  • Form the dough into a ball by using a bench scraper to push the dough away from you and then pull it towards you dragging it on the counter. Then turn the dough slightly and do it again. Repeat until you have a tight dough with some surface tension.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap or the inverted mixing bowl and set out for 25 min.
  • Stretch and flatten the dough to a rough 12 inch by 12 inch square.
  • Fold the left over then the right side over.  Lift and stretch the edges to form a seal and stretch the dough a bit to be the width of your proofing basket. 
  • Then grab the bottom edge and fold it over to start a roll. Continue rolling until you have a nice burrito shaped dough. Stretch the two ends over to cover the seams and make the width of the basket.
  • Lightly flour an oval banneton or even a rectangular Tupperware lined with a flour dish towel. Place the dough in seem side up by scraping it off the counter with the scraper.
  • Light flour the top of the dough and place into a loose plastic bag (grocery bag works great). Place in the fridge for 3-18 hours. 4-6 hours is a good target.
  • Heat up a cast iron skillet with a dome lid (Lodge combo cooker works great for this) in a 450 degree oven.
  • With oven mitts, take out the skillet and dome. Place the dough in the hot skillet. Score the dough with a sharp razor blade (do not use a knife) about 1/2 inch deep lengthwise down the middle.
  • Still with the oven mitts, cover the skillet with the dome and place in the over for 20 min.
  • Then take the dome off and cook uncovered for a remaining 20 min. You can rotate the skillet halfway through to cook evenly. It's done when the edges start to burn by turning dark brown.
  • Remove the skillet and hopefully the bread slides out. Place the bread on a rack to cool. Slice once completely cool.