Sunrise Flour Mill’s Sourdough Bread Recipe shows how a little time and great flour can come together to create delicious flavors and complex textures in homemade sourdough bread.
This recipe is from Marty and Darrold Glanville who are the owners and operators of Sunrise Flour Mill in North Branch, Minnesota.
You can read more about their story in Sunrise Flour Mill’s Search for Better Flour. You can buy flour from them online or at many co-ops around Minnesota.
Sourdough Tips and Pointers
Here are some tips and pointers from the Glanville’s on making sourdough bread.
- A really active starter will float in a glass of water. This is the ultimate test of a starter. Many times mine doesn’t float and I still make good bread.
- All ovens are different so you have to get to know yours. It may bake hotter or cooler than the indicated temperature, and it may have hot and cool spots. I find the mid-level in my oven has the best temperature.
- It sounds like a lot of complicated instructions but once you get familiar with the process you will be amazed at how easy it is to make artisan bread.
- Use the timer on your smartphone to remind you of the times to complete the steps, i.e. stretch and fold. Set the timer for 30 minutes and go and do other things, etc
Note on mixing the poolish with the final flour, salt, and water. Once you feel comfortable with this recipe you can make a whole wheat bread.
Make the same poolish on the first day with Bolted Red Fife then use Red Fife Whole Wheat flour on the second day. The different colors in the two flours will show you how important thorough mixing is because you can see the different colors when you’re mixing them the second day.
- 4 oz starter
- 17 oz Bolted Red Fife flour, divided
- 10 oz non-chlorinated water, at 85℉ (29℃)
- 1 tbsp sea salt, heaping
1st day – make a poolish preferment:
- On the first day make a poolish preferment by mixing 4 ounces of starter with 7 ounces of Bolted Red Fife flour, and 4 ounces of non-chlorinated water. The water should be at 85℉ (29℃).
- Mix thoroughly by hand so all the flour and water are combined with the starter. Leave on the kitchen counter overnight or store in the refrigerator for two or three days.
- On the second day scatter 1 heaping tbsp of sea salt on 10 ounces of Bolted Red Fife flour. Then add 6 ounces of non-chlorinated water to the flour and combine with the 1 pound poolish from the first day.
- Mix thoroughly – this can be done with a stand mixer, but I prefer to do it by hand. This can be a bit messy; wetting your hands a couple of times while you’re mixing helps. This mixing requires squeezing and turning the dough so everything mixes well.
- Let the dough sit on the counter with a lid on for an hour or so. The dough can also be refrigerated for a day. This is a slow fermentation. If refrigerated for a day, the dough should be taken out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before proceeding to the fold and stretch.
Fold and Stretch
- From here the dough is handled as gently as possible to retain all of the rise and bubbles it is building.
- Dust flour around and under the dough and scoop it out of the bowl onto a smooth and floured countertop or floured cutting board.
- Get a dough scraper under the edge, then grab as much dough as you can and lift and pull toward the middle. Think of this round ball as a clock; pull and stretch the four sides at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock
- Stretching and folding takes the place of kneading and you will get a feel for how many times you want to do this before your final proof and bake.
- Stretching and folding 2 or 3 times is usually enough. Make sure you space these 30 to 40 minutes apart to allow the dough to relax between the stretch and folds.
- Place a Dutch oven in the oven and set the temperature at 475℉ (246℃)
- After the last stretch and fold, the dough should be divided into two one-pound dough balls. Cover on the counter and let sit while the oven heats.
- The dough should be ready to bake in around 45 minutes. Bake the one pound loaves individually in the preheated Dutch oven. Depending on the oven, the one-pound loaves should bake in about 25 minutes with the cover on, followed by 5 to 10 minutes with the cover off depending on how brown a crust is desired.
- Another option it to bake the entire 2 pound proofed dough. This will nearly fill the Dutch oven after the dough expands in the oven, but it will work. The bigger loaf should take around 30 minutes with the cover on and 10 minutes with it off. Be careful with the hot Dutch oven, making sure to use good quality hot pads or mitts.
- When the bread is finished baking, remove with the hot pads, and place on a wire rack that allows the air to circulate underneath the loaf.
- Allow the loaf to cool completely before placing in a bag or bread box.