Easy Sourdough Dutch Oven Bread
This is a tried and true great artisan sourdough loaf that will make your family swoon. I love pulling this one out of the dutch oven every time. It’s great for gifting to neighbors and friends as well. I love this loaf alongside a meal or we use the leftovers for broiled mozzarella and fresh tomato open faced sandwiches. It doesn’t keep great, so be sure to eat it up within the first day or two. I don’t think you’ll have any problem with that!
- 3 – 3 1/4 c flour unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 c water
- 3/4 c active sourdough starter
- 1 T honey
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Step by Step Instructions
Mix water, starter, honey, salt, and 2 c flour in your Bosch or stand mixer. You can also easily make this loaf by hand – a danish dough whisk comes in real handy!
Allow the shaggy dough to rest for 20 mins to allow the flour to soak up as much moisture as possible.
Add more flour as needed to form a soft, slightly sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the mixer and forms a ball.
Knead until dough comes together in a slightly sticky ball (a few minutes by hand).
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and set a timer for 15 mins.
When the timer goes off, return to the dough with wet fingertips and gently pull one side up and into the center, turning the bowl 1/4 turns and repeating all the way around the dough ball. Repeat every 15 mins for the first hour.
Fold dough this way every hour for the next 4-6 hours. (It’s okay if you forget – even that first hour of this folding technique will help!)
After the long rise, place your dough on a lightly floured surface and fold one more time. Let rest 5-10 mins.
Flip dough over and gently tuck it around and under as you rotate it, to create a nice firm surface and some tension as your form your boule. Try to get the top of the dough really tight. This will help your dough rise up in the oven more effectively.
Place dough seam side up in a well floured banneton or greased bowl. Cover lightly with a towel or greased plastic wrap and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, with the dutch oven inside for 45-60 mins. If your dutch oven can’t withstand that heat, preheat to 450.
Allow loaf to rise while oven is heating or until a fingertip pressed into the surface causes the dough to slowly fill back in.
Invert dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Immediately before adding the dough to the dutch oven, slash the top with a sharp serrated knife or lame. Make quick, confident strokes about ¼” deep.
Put dough in the Dutch Oven with the lid on, reduce the heat to 430 degrees, and bake for 20 mins.
Remove the lid and bake another 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool completely before slicing – this is important – the bread continues to build structure as it cools, so if you cut into it hot it may appear underbaked or doughy inside.
If your bread is overbaking on the bottom, place a baking sheet on the rack beneath it to help deflect some of the heat. You may also need to turn down the temperature of your oven if it bakes hot, and cook it for longer at a lower heat.