To start a loaf of Sour Dough remove your storage levin from the fridge and make sure it is active. Check for bubbles and any unpleasant smells. If it is at all suspect,
feed it 50/50 with water and flour and give it a day set on the counter to get active.
For Sour Dough use unbleached Bread Flour.
Measure 60g of levin and add it to 225g of water and 145g. of flour. give it a good stir and then let it rest for 10 minutes to hydrate the flour. Scrape it out onto a
floured board and knead it for a couple of minutes until it is smooth. Place it in a covered container and leave it out overnight. For extra sour flavor, leave it out
The same day, or a day later if you are giving the starter two days to sour, make a Biga with 1 tsp. of Instant Yeast, 215g of water, and 150g. of flour. Mix this
thoroughly and place it in the fridge overnight.
To mix the final dough, put the Starter and Biga into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Add 415g of flour and 200g of water. Mix on medium speed for 3-4
minutes using the bread hook. Scrape down the sides and let it rest for 25-30 minutes. Add 18g. of salt and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Scrape onto a
floured board and fold it over onto itself 6 or 7 times. Let it rest 10 minutes. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes using as much flour as necessary to keep it from
sticking to the board and your hands. Give it another 10 minute rest and knead it one more time. Form it into a ball and place it into a container that is sprayed
with kitchen spray. snap on the lid and leave it out for an hour. Refrigerate it overnight or up to 2 days.
On baking day remove the dough from the fridge and turn it out onto a well floured board. For two loaves divide it evenly in half. Form the halves into a ball by
drawing the dough underneath itself. If you are using a banneton grasp the dough from the underside and dip it into your flour container, then place it bottom up
into the banneton. If you are making a regular loaf shape it into the final shape and place it onto a well floured board instead. Either way, cover it with a towel and
let it rise for 4-5 hours.
One hour before baking pre-heat your oven at 500f. with the baking stone and steam pan in place. Fifteen minutes before baking heat a cup of water to a
near boil (I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes) and then pour the water into the steam pan. Use care to avoid a steam burn ! Turn the dough out of the
banneton onto your peel or sheet pan, slash the top. Spray the dough with a mist of water. Slip it into the oven. close the door and turn the oven down to 450f.
After 20 minutes turn the loaf around. The back of your oven is typically hotter than the front. Check the bread at 30 minutes- It should be getting golden
brown and crusty. At 45 minutes it should be ready to come out and go onto a cooling rack. For a softer crust pull it out a little sooner. Your oven
is different than mine - practice will tell you when the bread is ready. Let it cool for at least an hour before slicing into it.