Basic Country Sourdough Loaf

Basic Country Sourdough Loaf

This is a 75% hydration basic country sourdough loaf using the basic technique taught in the book Tartine.

Makes 2 loaves. Adapted from the Tartine book.

I also use this basic country sourdough loaf method to make my pizza crust, but I sometimes change up the flour and/or hydration percentages.


900g unbleached all purpose flour
100g whole wheat flour
200g levain*
700g + 50g filtered warm water
20g sea salt

*To make your levain (done the night before):
200g warm water
200g unbleached all purpose flour
25g mature starter
The remaining levain can be fed and used to continue your starter


  1. The night before: make your levain in a glass bowl or container and cover with a cloth or kitchen towel. Store in a warm spot.
  2. The next morning, combine the AP flour, WW flour, levain, and 700g of filtered warm water in a large mixing bowl or large chef container. Mix together with a spatula or clean hands and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
    1. This is called the “autolyse” phase, and it is crucial! The flour begins to break down the carbohydrates in the wheat, beginning the fermentation process.
  3. Add in the other 50g of warm filtered water and 20g sea salt. Mix together with your hands and again, let your dough sit another 30 minutes.
  4. Stretch and fold your dough every 30 minutes for 2 hours (4 total stretch and folds).
    1. Do 3 stretch/folds per session, working in a circle around the bowl.
  5. After the 2 hours is up, keep your dough in a warm spot and let it sit for at least 4 hours.
    1. This is called the bulk fermentation phase
  6. Once your dough has bulk fermented, it’s time to shape your dough. Remove it from the container onto a clean dry surface. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into two equal parts.
  7. Use the bench scraper to scrape/roll each dough ball into a tight ball.
  8. Let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes. If you have a drafty kitchen it may be beneficial to sprinkle a little flour on top of the loaves and cover with a clean tea towel.
    1. This is called the “bench rest”
  9. Once the rest is complete, sprinkle a little flour on a clean, dry counter surface and flip one of the loaves over onto it. Fold the dough over similar to how you’d fold a tshirt. Scoop each loaf into a floured bannetone basket or a mixing bowl lined with a heavily floured linen tea towel with the folded side up.
  10. From here there are 2 rest options before baking: on the countertop for at least 4 hours or place in the fridge and rest overnight, or at least 12 hours.
    1. You can bake directly from the fridge when you are ready.
  11. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with a dutch oven, combo cooker, or large oven-proof pot with a lid inside the oven.
  12. Turn a loaf out onto a small piece of parchment paper. Dust with a bit of flour (optional) and score with a bread lame or a very sharp knife.
  13. Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Carefully place the loaf and parchment paper into the oven, cover (don’t forget to use an oven mit!), and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  14. Remove the lid and reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Bake another 25 minutes. At this point, I go off color to determine doneness. You can bake a few more minutes to get a darker, crispier crust.

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