Obligatory Sourdough Post

Part and parcel of being a software developer in San Francisco is looking the part. So with that in mind I’m sharing a streamlined version of the sourdough notes I’ve been using for the past couple years, minus the one part condescesion that’s usually mixed in with this sort of thing.

Good resources

Maintaining Starter

Basic country loaf ingredients from Tartine that makes 2 loaves (Directions below)


    • 12 hours before discard all but 1 tablespoon of mature starter
    • Feed 200 grams water and 200 grams flour
    • Should smell sweet in an overripe fruit kind of way and have risen about 20%
    • Fully incorporate ingredients, reserving salt and a little bit of water
      • Add water and leaven, stir to disperse
      • Then add flour
    • Let sit for 20-40 minutes
      • For high hydration and whole wheat sourdoughs up to 1 hour
    • Add salt and reserved water (50 grams-ish), mix
    • Use scissor method to disperse salt, squeezing and separating dough
    • Fold dough over several times, pressing fingers into center as you go until dough begins to tighten
    • For high hydration dough you can repeat this process a couple of times to build strength and make it easy to handle
    • Cover bowl with damp towel
      • 3-4 hours at 78F-82F, watch for 20-30% increase
      • One trick is to put the bowl in the stove with a pot of just-boiled water to raise the temperature.
    • Stretch and fold regularly
      • Every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours
      • Don’t touch dough in last couple hours of rise
      • In third hour, stretch and fold less regularly
  4. SHAPE
    • First shaping
      • Pull dough onto un-floured work surface
      • Flour surface of dough and flip over and cut in half if doing 2 loaf recipe
      • Fold the cut side (or whichever side if not cut) onto itself, sealing unfloured dough inside loaf
      • Work dough into round shape
    • Bench Rest
      • 20-30 minutes
    • Second shaping
      • Lightly flour top surface of dough
      • Flip dough over with bench knife so that floured side rests on counter
      • Take third of dough closest to you and fold over middle third
      • Stretch dough horizontally to right and fold third over center. Do the same on the left.
      • Stretch out dough farthest from you and fold toward center, over previous folds, anchoring it in place with your fingers
      • Then roll dough away from you so that seam is on bottom
      • Cup under dough, rounding it out
      • Let rest for a minute
    • 3-4 hours in warm environment (75F-80F), 12 hours in fridge
    • Use first rise as benchmark, the longer it too the longer the second rise should take
    • Can use poke test: poke dough and if it springs back slowly it’s ready to bake
    • Use 50/50 mixture of rice flour and wheat flour to prevent sticking in banneton
  6. SCORE
    • Large square slash has worked best for us
  7. BAKE
    • Preheat oven to 450F (FSWY says 475) with Dutch oven in it
    • 20 minutes covered to steam
    • 30 minutes uncovered for color
    • 10 minutes baked directly on rack to crisp crust
      • We’ve found this step burns bottom of bread in our oven sometimes
      • FSWY does 30-20
    • It’s ok to give your bread an extra ten minutes to get nice brown color
    • You can also turn off oven and let it sit