Sourdough Bread

Makes two large boules



  • 14 oz of unfed white sourdough starter (1:1 ratio water:flour by weight)
  • 34 oz of unbleached all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur)
  • 18 oz of room temperature, rested tap water (let it sit uncovered for 24 hours to evaporate the chlorine which interferes with the yeast reproduction)
  • 4½ tsp un-iodized kosher salt (iodine interferes with yeast reproduction)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (for first rise bowls)
  • ¾ tsp sour salt / citric acid (optional: will yield a more commercial sourdough flavor)


  1. Mix unfed starter, flour, and water by weight and knead for a couple minutes by hand or in stand mixer
  2. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes
  3. Knead dough by hand for 10 minutes and incorporate kosher salt and optional sour salt while kneading until dough reaches 72°F
  4. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 3–4 hours
  5. Turn out dough from bowl and deflate (drop dough on counter from 1-2 feet a few times) to pop the big air bubbles
  6. Divide in half by eye or by weight, and loosely shape into two mounds
  7. Let rest for 20 minutes
  8. Shape each dough by turning it inside out on the bottom, as if you’re tucking the bell of a jellyfish into itself a few times, to pop the larger bubbles
  9. Place each dough in floured banneton, proofing basket, or lightly oiled bowl good-side-down
  10. Let proof for 1 hour
  11. Retard dough in refrigerator for 8–18 hours
  12. Remove from refrigeration and let rest for 3-5 hours
  13. At 2 hours of proofing preheat oven with dutch oven inside to 500°F
  14. At 3 hours of proofing test the dough by poking it. If the indent bounces back immediately its too soon to bake, it should return slowly. If the indent deflates or doesn’t return you have over proofed the dough. When ready to bake the dough should be about 62°F.
  15. When dough is ready remove dutch oven and turn out dough good-side-up into pot, quickly dock (slash the top with a razor), replace lid, and replace into 500°F oven
  16. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes
  17. Remove the lid of the dutch oven and bake at 450° for another 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and internal temperature of bread is about 210°F
  18. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack for at least one hour before slicing