This recipe makes one loaf of 100% wholewheat sourdough bread but feel free to double it for more bang for your buck. We use 100% hydration rye sourdough starter to make the leaven. We generally start the leaven first thing in the morning so we can can bake the bread that evening.
75g leaven (15%)
500g Spitfire wholewheat flour (100%)
425g water (85%)
12g salt (2.4%)
1. Leaven (4-6 hours or overnight if cool)
The night before or morning of the day you want to make bread, place 1 spoonful of active starter (20g) in a small bowl. Add 50g of wholewheat flour with 60g slightly warm water.
Cover and let rest at room temperature for 4-6 hours
Test if the leaven is ready by dropping a spoonful into a bowl of room temperature water. When it floats, it is ready to use to make a dough.
In a mixing bowl, combine 425g of slightly warm water with 75g of leaven. Use the remaining leaven for your starter.
Add the flour to the liquid and use your hands to mix.
4. Autolyse (1 hour)
Cover with a tea towel and let the premix rest for at least 1 hour at warm room temperature (26 to 30 degrees) to hydrate and ferment.
5. Final Mix
Fold 12g of salt into the dough with wet hands
6. Bulk Rise (fold and turn, 3 hours)
Fold the dough with wet hands every 30 minutes for 2.5 hours (6 times). To do a fold, dip one hand in water, pick up the underside of the dough, stretch it up and fold it back over itself. Rotate the bowl one quarter turn and repeat fold for the three remaining corners.
After roughly 3 hours and 6 folds, the dough should feel aerated, billowy and softer with a 20-30% increase in volume. If this isn’t happening, fold once or twice more over an hour.
Gently tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Work the dough into a round by drawing your hand around the dough in a circular motion. The dough will anchor to the bench which creates tension.
8. Bench Rest (30 minutes)
Lightly flour the tops of the round, cover with a tea towel and let rest for up to 30 minutes.
Line your basket or bowl with a floured tea towel
9. Final Shaping
Flip the round over so the lightly floured top is now on the bench. Pull the bottom of the dough up to fold into one third of the round. Do the same with the other 3 sides of the dough (similar to the folding in earlier steps).
Flip the dough back over, seam facing down, and round your hands over the dough to tuck the corners in and make it less square.
Let the dough rest for a few minutes to seal the seam.
10. Final Rising (3-5 hours)
Place the dough in the floured basket or bowl, seam side facing up.
Cover with a tea towel and rest at warm room temperature for 3-5 hours or overnight in the fridge if necessary.
11. Baking (50 minutes)
20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260c and place your cast-iron dutch oven or pot in the oven with its lid on for preheating.
Once hot, tip dough gently into the Dutch oven, seam side down.Score the top of the dough with a blade or knife. Put the lid on the pot and place in the oven.
After 20 minutes of baking, turn the temperature down to 230c.
Bake for another 10 minutes then remove the lid.
Continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes until it’s dark and golden.
Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool. Tap the base of the bread to see if it makes a hollow sound.