1 ½teaspoons (9 grams)fine salt*we prefer using sea salt
In a large bowl, add the sourdough starter. Add in water and use a dough whisk or a wooden spoon to stir until dissolved. Stir in the flour and salt until a shaggy looking dough forms. Finish mixing dough by hand in the bowl until all the flour has been absorbed. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes.
Lightly flour your countertop. Pull the dough from the bowl with a dough scraper or by hand onto the countertop. Stretch and fold the dough for 15 seconds (see video below): grab the edge of the dough and bring it straight up it about 4 inches and tuck it into the center of the dough. Then, turn the dough 1/4 a turn. Continue this process until the dough has come full circle and it has tightened.Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp towel (or plastic wrap if you live in a dry area) and and let rise at room temperature or a warm area (72º to 80º F) for about 10 hours to ferment. Do not refrigerate the dough. The dough should double in size and look bubbly on the surface and under the dough when fermented.
Lightly flour your countertop. Pull the dough from the bowl and shape the dough by stretching and folding it again. Let the dough rest 10 – 15 minutes. Line a medium sized bowl with a towel, or use a banneton bowl with linen cover (see photos), and dust heavily with flour. Let dough rise in it for 45-60 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450º (without the dutch oven). Cover the dough bowl with a long piece of parchment paper, about 20 inches long, and turn it over onto the countertop (see video). Slash the top of the loaf with a lame or sharp serrated knife. Gently lower the parchment paper dough into a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. NOTE: If using a Dutch Oven with a dark interior, I recommend insulating the bottom with a round silicone sheet underneath the parchment paper. You can also place the pot on a baking sheet. This helps the bottom crust of the bread from getting too dark in color.
Place the covered pot in the the oven and bake the bread covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake 20 minutes. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the bread from the pot. Bake it directly on the oven rack for 5-10 minutes to crisp the exterior (if needed). To ensure your bread is cooked through you can check the internal temperature. It should be 195ºF to 205ºF.
Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
What size dutch oven for sourdough bread? I recommend using a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven for this sourdough bread recipe.To make extra tangy sourdough bread, replace 1/4 teaspoon (up to 1/2 teaspoon) of the salt with citric acid or sour salt for a tangy kick to your sourdough.You can substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour, using a 1:1 ratio. Or use this overnight sourdough recipe which uses bread flour instead of all-purpose. Want to use whole wheat flour? Substitute up to 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour and add 1 Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to get the best rise.Store sourdough bread at room temperature in a bag for up to 5 days.