1 ½cups (350 ml)warm filtered water(95º to 100º F)
4 ¼cups (500 grams)all-purpose flour(see notes for bread flour and whole wheat flour)
1 ½teaspoons (9 grams)sea salt
In a large bowl, add the sourdough starter. Mix in the water, stirring until it is completely dissolved. Add the flour and salt. Stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until a thick, shaggy dough forms. If the dough is too thick to stir, finish mixing dough by hand. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Stretch and fold the dough for 15 seconds within the bowl. Grab the edge of the dough, stretch it up and press it down into the center of the dough, then turn the dough 1/4 a turn (see video) and continue stretching the dough in a clockwise rotation. Cover the bowl with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm area (75º to 85º F) for 6-8 hours. The dough should double in size and look bubbly on the surface and under the dough.
Lightly flour your countertop and pull the dough from the bowl onto the countertop. Shape the dough by stretching and folding it again as you did before. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Line a medium bowl with a towel or use a banneton with linen cover, and dust heavily with flour. Let dough rise for 30 - 60 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450º (without the dutch oven). Cover the dough bowl with a long piece of parchment paper, and turn it over onto the countertop so that the dough is on top of the parchment paper.
Slash the top of the loaf with a lame or sharp serrated knife. Gently lower the parchment paper dough into the dutch oven.
Place the dutch oven in the oven and bake with the bread covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 20 more minutes. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the bread from inside the pot and bake it directly on the oven rack for 10 minutes to crisp the exterior.
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.