This sourdough recipe is a hybrid of my old go-to and new methods I've learned recently. It's given me wonderful and consistent results for a beautifully open crumb.
Day 1, morning: Mix the Dough. Mix the bread flour and water in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for one hour. (Room temperature: ~74ºF)
Add the Starter. After one hour, add the sourdough starter and using a wet hand, mix into the dough by folding/kneading in or using the Rubaud method.
Add the salt/Stretch and Fold 1, 2, 3. After 30 minutes sprinkle the salt over the top of the dough and using a wet hand, dimple the salt in and knead it to incorporate into the dough. You can also use the Rubaud method here. In this step I also performed the first stretch and fold. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Perform two more stretch and fold sessions every thirty minutes. (Room temperature: ~75ºF)
Lamination. After the three stretch and fold sessions carefully turn the dough out on your work surface that's been lightly misted with water. Transfer the dough so that what was the top while it was in the bowl is now the bottom. Using wet hands, carefully pull the dough from the center, extending it to stretch it out without tearing the gluten strands. Repeat until you have a large rectangle. Pop the large bubbles with your fingers. Take two ends and fold over the dough 2/3 of the way. Take the other end and fold over (you will fold in thirds). Fold the dough in thirds again and transfer to a glass casserole dish (square if you have it) seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. (Room Temperature: ~77ºF)
Coil Folds. Using wet hands, take the middle portion on each side of the dough and carefully lift until the top pulls apart from the casserole dish. Tuck it under, rotate the dish and pull and tuck the other end. Rotate the dish to repeat this set. Perform three to four coil folds every thirty minutes depending on the behavior of your dough. The goal is to observe that the dough is gaining more structure and not spreading out as much after each coil fold session. For my loaves I normally will perform four coil folds. Another indication that coil folds are complete is if you see that your dough is plump with rounded edges. (Room temperature: ~79ºF)
Bulk Fermentation. After the coil folds continue with bulk fermentation until the dough has increased in size by roughly 30-50%. The top will be glossy with bubbles on the surface; it will be domed and jiggly. For my loaves at the temperatures indicated the total bulk fermentation time is 6 to 6 1/2 hours from first adding the starter to shaping. (Room temperature: ~80ºF)
Shape and Cold Retard. Dust your banneton (round or oval)with rice flour. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface (all purpose or bread flour). The top of the dough now becomes the bottom. Gently pull the dough to flatten it a little, fold in thirds and roll into a ball. Transfer the dough to the banneton seam side up, pinching the seams together. Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
Day 2, morning: Bake. Put your dutch oven with the lid on in your cold oven and preheat to 475ºF. When your oven has reached temperature take your dough out of the refrigerator and flip it over on the counter lined with parchment paper. I like to use a small cutting board for this step (parchment paper between the banneton and the board) to make it easier to flip the dough out. Brush the excess flour from the top of the dough and score. Put on your oven mitts and take your dutch oven out of the oven. Remove the lid and gently lay the dough in the pot using the parchment paper. Cover, return to oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least three hours before slicing.
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