When I first set out to make sourdough bread, I tried to rigorously follow all the instructions and tips I was given. This was really counter-intuitive to me as I liked to cook and bake "by feel" most of the time. Each time I would start with gusto only to be met with little to no bubbly live on my flour and water mixture. I finally decided to let it go and read the starter on my own- I fed it when I felt like feeding it as I had, by then, learnt how to read it's signs of hunger when it wasn't fed.
This basic sourdough bread recipe was adapted from the many that we tried ourselves and have found to be the most straightforward and accommodating of the hot and humid weather in Singapore, Malaysia and South East Asia generally (i.e temperatures of 25C-30C).
As bakers ourselves, we love baking bread from scratch with our bare hands. It's always magical to see humble ingredients come together to make something wonderful- just flour, water, salt! The secret ingredient really is, of course, time and patience.
Basic Sourdough Recipe- adapted to humid climates (25-30C)!
- Ingredients: 1. Bread Flour (255g) 2. Whole wheat flour (70g) 3. Water (243g)
- Autolyse: Mix all the ingredients together and let it rest for 2hrs-4hrs in room temperature.
- Bulk Stage:
Add the following ingredients/ steps every 30mins-
❏ Levain: 75g (though sometimes I go up to 85g, it doesn’t change the dough much). By hand, spread leaven over dough (mix for 5mins).
❏ Seasalt: 7.5g Use fingers to press salt into dough (mix for 5mins)
❏ Light Fold: Fold all 4 sides of dough in bowl
After at least 3 hours from when levain is added-
❏ Lamination (Best when dough is cold from fridge or at least in aircon room temp) Pull dough from centre then stretch out. Thereafter, fold in 4 sides, transfer to bulking dish
After 30mins (only do stretch & fold if dough is still slack)
❏ #1 Stretch & Fold
❏ #2 Stretch & Fold (only if dough is still slack)
After at least 30mins after last stretch & fold
❏ Shape: Flour countertop, use bench scraper to tuck flour under edges of dough; use bench scraper pick up side flap of dough & fold on top of dough, repeat with the other side flap; roll down dough on itself; seal edges of dough by pinching. Ensure that dough is taut/ has surface tension.
❏ Proof: Leave dough for 15mins at room temperature, followed by an overnight (approx 12-16hrs) retard.
❏ Score: Score the bread immediately before baking. Bake the bread right after taking it out of the fridge.
❏ Bake: Bake for 20mins with lid on, 10-15mins uncovered or till desired brownness.
Bread is alive!
One of the things I enjoy most about bread baking is the rhythm and simplicity of working with our hands. Dough is sticky, it does not always behave the way we want it to (alot like children :O) and the rhythm of working and pausing makes us slow down from our usual, busy, hectic lives.
Don't worry if you can't follow the recipe to a "T". I've found this recipe to be forgiving and you can tailor the timings and required steps once you understand how to read the dough; whether it is properly fermented and have developed enough strength before a bake. Dough handling skills will naturally come with practice.
Enjoy the journey!
The Bakers @ Sourdough Supplies
Lacy crumb shot of a great sourdough loaf
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