Posted on 45 Comments

Sourdough Bread 1-2-3 Method

LoafBlog

Easy as:

1 part of starter

2 parts of water

3 parts of flour 

And 2% salt

The easiest sourdough bread formula and a great result. Can be baked the same or next day using immature or young starter. Learn how to make starter from scratch here.

Ready in:
12-24 hours
Serves:
8-10 people
Yield: 
600g loaf
Units:
US, EU

Ingredients

Sourdough starter (night before)

Dough

  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 200g water
  • 300g flour ( I used 260g bread flour +40g whole grain whole wheat flour)
  • 6g salt
MixingBowlIngredients

Directions 

Starter:  Night before add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let sit at room temp 70-75F until next morning. Before it reaches the peak, it should at least doubled( starter isn’t strong enough), or tripled ( strong starter).

StarterTable

Dough: 

  • Next morning, mix water with flour, using spoon, cover, let it rest 30 min for autolyse 
  • During the autolyse the flour absorbs the water, becoming fully hydrated. This will activate gluten development.
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Process2
  • After 30 min of rest, add sourdough starter.

Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, cover, let rest 30 minutes.

PourStarter
MixDough
  • Add salt after it rests, mix or knead until well incorporated. 
  • Round the dough with wet hand and let proof for about 3 hours at 76-80F
DoughInHand
  • Perform 2 stretches and folds during warm fermentation. 
StrongDough
  • After 3 hours the dough should become puffy and light

Preshaping

  • Dump the dough on floured surface, preshape it and let rest uncovered for 30 minutes.
Preshape

Shaping

  • After 30 minutes rest shape your dough like a boule or batard, place in proofing basket.
  • At this point you can cover the proofing basket, move it to the fridge and bake the loaf next morning, or you can jump right to the next step.
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  • Let proof for 1 hour or 1 hour and 30 min. Perform a poke test (* when you press down the dough with your finger, it should spring back only half way)
  • While the loaf is proofing, (or in the morning, when your loaf was still retarding in the fridge). Preheat oven till 500F for 50minutes – 1 hour. Preheat your Dutch oven, or cast iron pan or baking stone for the same amount of time.
  • After the loaf has proofed enough, score it, using a razor blade or scoring lame. 
  • If it was resting overnight in the fridge, remove it when the oven is preheated enough, then start the scoring process.
Scoring
  • Bake in 500F for 15 min with lid on (very important to keep the lid on during the first 15 minutes of baking, it creates a perfect amount of steaminside the pot, which will give your loaf a beautiful and crunchy crust)
  • Lower the temperature to 450F, open the lid, and bake for 20 more minutes (until nice and golden brown color).
BrownLoaf
CrumbShot

Enjoy your sourdough bread 🙌

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45 thoughts on “Sourdough Bread 1-2-3 Method

  1. Salt is 2% of what – amount of flour, water? Sorry – I’m a newbie at this. Thank you!

    1. Hi,
      Amount of flour is always 100%, that means 2% of salt should be counted from total amount of flour 🙌

      1. Can you just tell us how many grams of salt for the amount of flour in this recipe
        please?

      2. Sorry, I just noticed that I didn’t put the amount of salt. It should be 6g

    2. Should be 8 grams atleast…

  2. If I don’t like such a dark loaf how would I adjust my time/temp?

    1. The dark caramelized crust is the whole purpose of this! You can always cook for longer at a lower temp once your remove the lid. But you’ll really be missing out.

      1. I’m 100% agree, but some people like it less caramelized. My kids love the crust dark and crusty , my husband likes when it’s soft and light , so I’m in between 😂

    2. For a lighter loaf, bake it at 500F for 15 min with lid on, then at 450F for 16-17 min with lid open 😊

      1. Thank you!

  3. Thank you!

  4. hello, thank you for your recipe. Quick question, (well to preface I haven’t made this yet), typically when I feed my stater normally it peeks after around 7 hours before it starts dipping, should I expect the same with the overnight adjusted starter? Or should this be a little stronger?
    Thanks again, Wes

    1. Wes, hi!
      Great question. It depends on the strength of your starter and the temperature in your kitchen.
      For example, if I’ll feed my starter 1:2:2 at 76-80F, it will triple in 4 hours, and will start to fall down.
      To extend the time of fermentation I’m changing the ratio to 1:6:6 for overnight fermentation.
      But if you’d like to use starter faster, you can simply do 1:2:2 for 4 hours or 1:3:3 for 6 etc.

  5. I’ve always been taught to feed 1:1:1 for 100% hydration and 1:2:3 for a stiffer starter – which always results in the more typical “San Francisco” type loaf. The 1:2:2 – 1:6:6 is really new to me. Is there a place you explain this more fully?

    1. Hi!
      Great question!
      It depends on the strength of your starter and the temperature in your kitchen. The stronger starter, the more food it needs.
      You have to train it if you’d like to achieve more open crumb.
      For example, if I’ll feed my starter 1:2:2 at 76-80F, it will triple in 4 hours, and will start to fall down.
      To extend the time of fermentation I’m changing the ratio to 1:6:6 for overnight fermentation.
      But if you’d like to use starter faster, you can simply do 1:2:2 for 4 hours or 1:3:3 for 6 etc.

      1. Hi Natalya!
        I have a follow up question. If I decide to feed the starter at say 1:2:2 ratio (let’s say I am going to feed my starter as 15:30:30) do I just take a total of 75 grams for your recipe even though the ratio of starter/flour/water for my starter feed is going to be different from yours in the recipe. And also how do you train your starter?
        Thank you so much)

  6. Hi there! I’m confused about the timing in between steps . After you add in the salt, mix it all together and leave it to proof for 3 hours, do you then stretch and fold twice and leave it for ANOTHER 3 hours, followed by dumping on floured surface and preshaping? Is that correct or am I adding a step that shouldn’t be done? Thanks in advance!

    1. Pablo, hi!
      Warm fermentation (proofing) should be 3 hours in total. During that time perform 2 stretches and folds.🙌

  7. Hi! So happy to be on your site! I see a lot of recipes that call for 20 minutes baking with the lid on; yours has 15. Does it matter much? Do you know of any difference between baking at 500 degrees covered for 15 min vs 20 min? Thank you as always!!!

    1. Hi!
      Happy to have you here 😊.
      It won’t have a big difference, I’ve done it both way, and it won’t affect the crumb in any way.
      But I definitely know, that 15 min is absolutely enough for crumb to open as much as it can. And if you are making baguettes, only 10 min with steam will be perfect 😊

  8. Hi. I followed this recipe today (used the 40g of whole wheat flour as you suggested), got the loaf out of the oven before 5pm and 20 minutes later half of it was gone already. It’s delicious! The only issue I encountered was that whilst shaping the boule the dough was wetter than I expected and it also spread out a bit when moved into the dutch oven. But it didn’t come out flat in the end, had a really good the oven spring (although the crumb wasn’t nearly as beautiful as yours)! Thanks for the recipe Natasha.

    1. I’m so happy to read about your experience baking this loaf. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Hi Natasha, I m big fan of yours. I wanted to know when we do floating test then for how long it shud float.

    1. Ritu, hi!
      I’m not really into float testing. It’s showing you if starter Is alive. But for baking purposes I prefer to see it’s rising( doubling or tripling)

      1. Hi. I have a question.
        Do I have to put a bowl of water in the oven during the baking?

      2. Hi!
        If you are baking with baking stone, then yes! You’ll need to put tray on the bottom of the stone, and pour hot boiling water in it.

  10. Hi, I don’t have a Dutch oven so will be baking this on a baking stone. Does it affect the timings or temperature at all please?

  11. No, it won’t affect the timing. Make sure To preheat baking stone for 1 hour with the tray on a bottom rack. And pour some boiling water on the tray right away after you put bread on the stone. And I’m spraying the top of the loaf with water (using spritzer) to create more steam.

  12. Hi Natalya,
    I’ve used a few similar methods and will try yours next. It does look amazing.
    I was wondering about the 1:2:2 ratio, in which order is it?
    Starter:Flour:Water or different?
    Thanks in advance!
    Chris

    1. Hi!
      Thank you!
      Hope it will work out.
      Ratio 1:2:2 means 1 part starter:2 parts flour: 2 parts water

  13. Hi Natalya)
    Did I get this right? If I decide to feed the starter at say 1:2:2 ratio (let’s say I am going to feed my starter at 15:30:30 ratio). Do I just take a total of 75 grams ( which is what you have ) for your recipe even though the ratio of starter/flour/water for my starter feed is going to be different from the feed that you give in your recipe which is 1:7:7.
    Thank you so much)

    1. Yes, all Correct!
      Stick to your regular starter feeding routine.

  14. Hello Natasha,
    After night in the fridge, do I bake right away I took it out?

    1. Tatiana, hi!
      Bake straight from the fridge 🙏

      1. Hi Natasha! So glad I’ve found your page! I’m new to sourdough baking and your post is easy to follow for a newbie like me, so thank you!
        I just have 1 question, what is the minimum number of hours that you can let the dough rest in the fridge? Can it rest there for just 6-8 hours, then bake?
        Thanks!

      2. Denise, hi! Thank you!
        You can definitely bake it after 6/8 hours in the fridge 🙏

  15. Hi Natalya.
    Is the starter for your recipe 100% hydration?
    Many thanks

    1. Hi!
      Yes!
      I’m using 100% hydration starter.
      Thank you 🙏

  16. Hi Natasha, thank you for the recipe and the tips 🙂 are you using white flour as bread flour? I use wholemeal and rye, can I expect it to rise as much as white bread or less?
    Thanks
    Sinem

    1. Hi!
      Whole meal flour is heavier then bread white flour.
      It won’t open as much but you will get very delicious loaf.

  17. Thanks for sharing this recipe. May I know wha is the temp for the dough? Should it be between 76-80F?

    1. Hi!
      Try to keep it 76F

  18. Hi,I have a question,why my bread is not opening?😭😭Did all step by step overnight and again is not opened😥What is my problem.Thank you and appreciate your help

  19. Hi! my first loaf that i did of this turned out perfect but since they have been more dense and sometimes underbaked. any suggestions??

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