In a previous Stella Bread Video, I demonstrated how to make a sourdough starter that could later be used to naturally levin any type of bread you desire. In this video, we take that starter and bake our first sourdough loaf, a 70% hydration boule that uses a large percentage of poolish starter for a quick rise, a small amount or whole wheat for a complex flavor, and a cast iron dutch oven to replicate a traditional hearth.
Many guests of The Cedar House and Stella ask how we make our sourdough bread that has become a signature part of our dinner service. This is the recipe and method that we use, the only difference being that our finished, formed loaves are baked in our wood fire oven instead of a cast iron dutch oven. The heat retaining capabilities of the dutch oven allow for a superior heat transfer and oven spring which is one of the major advantages to baking bread in a hearth oven. Enclosing the dutch oven with a lid during the early stages of baking introduces steam which is absolutely imperative for a strong oven spring and a crackly crust.
If I blindfolded my staff and had them do a blind tasting between this bread and the bread we serve at Stella, they would not be able to tell the difference. However, the straightforward simplicity of this method makes it a great introductory loaf of sourdough for the uninitiated, and a great base recipe to which you can add different flavored flours, herbs, spices, nuts, etc., to make your own unique sourdough loaf at home.
This video assumes that you have a strong sourdough starter and understand basic bread baking concepts as discussed in The Stella Culinary School Podcast.
- 275g Warm Water
- 500g Poolish Sourdough Starter
- 400g Bread Flour (Unbleached)
- 100g Whole Wheat Flour
- 20g Salt 15g Salt (2%)