Extra-Tangy Sourdough Bread

READY IN: 50mins
SERVES: 8
YIELD: 2 Loaves
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Combine the starter, water, and 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces, 362g) of the flour. Beat vigorously for 1 minute.
  • Cover, and let rest at room temperature for 4 hours. Refrigerate overnight, for about 12 hours.
  • Add the remaining 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces, 241g) flour, and the salt. Knead to form a smooth dough.
  • Allow the dough to rise in a covered bowl until it's light and airy, with visible gas bubbles. Depending on the vigor of your starter, this may take up to 5 hours (or even longer), depending on how active your starter is. For best results, gently deflate the dough once an hour by turning it out onto a lightly floured work surface, stretching and folding the edges into the center, and turning it over before returning it to the bowl. Adding these folds will give you a better sense of how the dough is progressing, as well as strengthen it.
  • Gently divide the dough in half.
  • Gently shape the dough into two rounds or oval loaves, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until very puffy, about 2 to 4 hours (or longer; give them sufficient time to become noticeably puffy). Don't worry if the loaves spread more than they rise; they'll pick up once they hit the oven's heat. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Spray the loaves with lukewarm water.
  • Slash the loaves. If you've made round loaves, try one slash across the center, and a curved slash on each side of it; or slash in the pattern of your choice. For oval loaves, two diagonal slashes are fine. Make the slashes fairly deep; a serrated bread knife, wielded firmly, works well here.
  • Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it's a very deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.
  • Store bread, loosely wrapped in plastic, for several days at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.
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