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My Best Sourdough Recipe

  • Author: Maurizio Leo
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves


This sourdough bread is one of my favorite recipes. It’s a highly hydrated dough that results in a loaf with an open and lacey interior contrasted by a thin, crispy crust.


  • 853g medium-protein bread flour
  • 95g whole wheat flour
  • 805g water
  • 17g salt
  • 30g ripe sourdough starter


  1. Levain (9:00 a.m.)
    In a small container, mix the following and keep at 78°F (25°C) for 5 hours.

    30g medium-protein bread flour
    30g whole wheat flour
    60g water
    30g ripe sourdough starter

  2. Autolyse (12:30 p.m)
    In a medium mixing bowl, add the following and mix until no dry bits remain. Cover the bowl and let rest for 1 hour.

    822g medium-protein bread flour
    64g whole wheat flour
    650g water

  3. Mix (2:00 p.m.)
    To the mixing bowl holding your dough, add:

    95g water
    17g sea salt
    150g ripe levain (from step 1)

    Transfer your dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.

  4. Bulk Fermentation (2:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.)
    Give the dough 6 sets of stretch and folds. The first three sets are at 15-minute intervals, and the last three sets are at 30-minute intervals.

  5. Divide and Preshape (6:15 p.m.)
    Lightly flour your work surface and scrape out your dough. Using your bench knife, divide the dough in half. Lightly shape each half into a round shape. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  6. Shape (6:45 p.m.)
    Shape the dough into a round (boule) or oval (batard) and place in proofing baskets. Cover the baskets with a reusable plastic bag.
  7. Proof (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the next day)
    Cover proofing baskets with reusable plastic and seal shut. Then, place both baskets into the refrigerator and proof overnight.
  8. Bake (Preheat oven at 8:00 a.m., bake at 9:00 a.m.)
    Preheat your oven with a combo cooker or Dutch oven inside to 450°F (230°C).

    When the oven is preheated, remove your dough from the fridge, score it, and transfer to the preheated combo cooker. Place the cooker in the oven, cover with the lid, and bake for 20 minutes. After this time, remove the lid (you can keep it in the oven or remove it) and continue to bake for 30 minutes longer. When done, the internal temperature should be around 208°F (97°C).

    Let the loaves cool for 2 hours on a wire rack before slicing.


This is a very highly hydrated dough. Don’t add in all the reserved water during mixing if it feels like the dough is becoming overly weak, slack, or soupy.

Keywords: Bread, Sourdough, Naturally Leavened