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Sourdough Dutch Oven Bread

Winter is coming and I want to be on my A-game with bread! This one is a winner.

Recipe:

¼ cup sourdough starter, room temperature (fed within 12-24 hours)

1 ½ cups warm water (105º to 110º F)

3-1/2 to 4 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons salt


Directions:

1. In a large bowl mix started with water until dissolved. Add the flour (3 cups, then add 1/2 until the consistency when mixed feels like an earlobe) 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.

2. Cover and rest dough 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, continuing to stretch all the way around. Cover and rise in a warm area 8 hours.

3. 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.

4. 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 and place in 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.

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