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Sourdough Loaf – Perfect Formula

Sourdough Bread Perfect

When I first started exploring sourdough and looked for the perfect formula, I found myself chasing after the biggest holes and the most uneven crumb one can possibly get.

I was convinced, the higher the hydration – the better. I struggled with 80-87% hydration, which was almost impossible to handle for an inexperienced baker like me back then.

Only with time I realized that the best bread was the one with an evenly structured crumb, without caves and huge holes in it. I understood the importance of proper warm fermentation and necessity of building the dough structure during the warm bulk.

A beautiful crumb can be achieved with 74-76% hydration, with easier dough handling and less stress.

Here is my favorite sourdough formula with 74% hydration.


Sourdough starter 




  • 7 am add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let it sit at a room temp 74-78F for about 8-10 hours until starter reaches its peak (at least triples in volume).
  • Learn how to make starter from scratch here.


  • 5 pm mix water with flour and cover, let it rest 1 hour for autolyse.
  • During the autolyse the flour absorbs the water, becoming fully hydrated. This will activate gluten development.
  • 6 pm add sourdough starter. 
  • Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 min until well incorporated.
  • Cover, let rest for 30 min.
  • 6:30 pm add salt and extra water. 

  • The process of adding extra water is called bassinage, it helps to tighten up gluten. Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or with KitchenAid on speed 3 for 5-6 min until well incorporated. The dough should come up together, but still be sticky on the bottom.
  • We will continue gluten development and structure building by performing stretches and folds during the warm fermentation period.
  • Leave to rest 30 min. At 74-78F /23-26C.
  • 7 pm wet your hands and perform 1st stretch and fold.
  • 7:45pm 2nd stretch and fold.
  • 8:30 pm 3rd stretch and fold.
  • 9:15 pm 4th stretch and fold.
  • Performing stretches and folds will help with gluten development.
  • Keep monitoring the dough, if it rises too fast, you can shorten the time between stretches to 40 minutes or less.
  • After the final stretch let the dough proof for 30 minutes at 76-80F/ 23-26C. You should see some bubbles on the surface, the dough has to become lighter. We are looking for 40%-50% rise. If your dough didn’t reach 40% rise mark, add 1 extra stretch, it will extend time of warm fermentation, but will give you great result 🙏

Preshaping sourdough 

  • 9:45 pm Transfer the dough on to a work surface and dust its top with flour. Flip the dough over so the floured sides face down. 
  • Fold the dough onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf. This will become the crust. 
  • Place the dough round on a work surface and let it rest for 30 minutes uncovered.

Shaping sourdough 

  • 10:15 pm Dust the dough with whole wheat flour. Use a dough scraper to flip it over on to a work surface so the floured sides face down.
  • Starting at the side closest to you, pull the right 2 corners of the dough to the left, then fold them up into half of the dough. Repeat this action on the left side too.
  • Finally, roll the dough. Shape it into a smooth, taut roll.
  • Transfer the roll, seam side up, to a prepared proofing basket (loaf pan with kitchen towel)
  • Cover it with plastic and return the dough to the 80F (27C) environment for 15 minutes.
  • Then transfer the dough to rise for 14-24 hours in the refrigerator.


Next morning

  • Preheat your oven to 500 F, place a cast iron pan with the lid inside for 45 min -1 hour.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. 
  • Flip it over on a parchment paper, score it with a sharp knife or a scoring lame
  • Transfer on to the hot cast iron pan, cover with the lid (to create steam for a beautiful and crusty crumb).
  • Bake at 500F for 15 min with lid on.
  • Remove the lid, lower the temperature to 450F. 
  • Bake for 20 more minutes until golden brown.

Let it cool for 2 hours and enjoy.

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Sourdough Loaf - Perfect Formula
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128 thoughts on “Sourdough Loaf – Perfect Formula

  1. If I wanted to use 20% whole wheat how would I adjust the recipe? Anything else I should be aware of of other than the need to add a bit more water? Thank you.

    1. Daniel, hi!
      Yes! Definitely add little bit more water(up to 78%)

    2. Thanks.great!!

  2. I’ve realized recently that I might be pushing bulk fermentation too far. I bulk ferment at 80 F (with a very similar dough formula to this one), and I usually let it go for up to five hours or more, until the dough has about tripled in size. Is there a point when continuing bulk fermentation is just going to have a negative effect on the end product?

    1. Ryan, hi!
      I know many bakers, who use weaker flour(11%protein or less) can push their fermentation up to 100% and are getting nice crumb.
      But From my experience, I like to keep it up to 40-50%. This way the dough still has some strength to open up in the oven as much as possible.
      If you are overproofing ,the dough looses it’s strength, and doesn’t give you that openness🙏

      1. Thanks for your wonderful recipies and advices. Even I have hoy your book and read it completely I can’t get
        How do you get a gluten free bread ?? I don’t understand it.
        When you tall about “tighten up gluten” what does it mean ?
        Thank you

  3. Hi! When mixing with the KitchenAid, do I use the paddle or the dough hook? thx & love your page ❤️ 🍞

    1. Stefany,
      🙏 thank you!
      Use a dough hook please 😊

  4. Do you bake with 21% gluten flour+ bread flour?
    If possible, post this recipe on the Instagram site or this page.

    1. Mehhad,
      I baked with 10% corn flour, or 10% teff flour, and it worked great.
      Just use same formula, but instead add 10% gluten free flour.

  5. hi! can you tell me how you get so many bubbles on the crust? thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    1. Janes, hi!
      Proper fermentation is a key, but also you can add 1 ice cube inTo the hot pot and close a lid. Bake for 15 min, then open lid and bake more.

      1. that’s sounds like a cool tip! I need to drop the ice cube before I put the dough into the hot pot or after?

      2. I put my dough on parchment paper, then I transfer it to the hot pot, and then I put 1 ice cube, so it sticks under the parchment paper.😊

  6. Hi Natasha, thank u for sharing your recipe and methods. Your crumbs look perfect. I noticed your starter ratio is 1:7:7 which works better with my time. However I would like to find out the difference btwn using a 1:1:1 or most recipe calls for 1:2:2. And would using 1:7:7 weakens the dough? Tia

    1. Hi!
      I’m using high ratio 1:7:7 for 10-12 hours period. My starter is very strong, that’s why higher ratio works perfect with my schedule.
      It is slowly fermented during 12 hours.
      But if I feed it 1:2:2 or 1:3:3 or even 1:5:5 for 12 hours period, it will reach the peak in about 6 hours and will start to fall down, which isn’t good for the bread.
      I prefer to add starter on it’s peak.

      If for some reason your starter is weak, then smaller ratio will work great for your bread.

      1. hello

        how can i increase the strength of the starter?

        thanks 😊

      2. Hi,
        Do you drizzle some oil into the glass bowl before the stretch and fold, to prevent it from sticking – or is the the glass surface non stick enough on its own?

      3. I sprinkle some water. It helps to prevent sticking 🙏

      4. Just to clarify, could you feed it 1:3:3 or 1:5:5 and then use the starter whenever it has peaked?

      5. Yes, you can definitely feed your sourdough starter with a ratio of 1:3:3 or 1:5:5 (starter:flour:water) and then use it once it has peaked. The feeding ratio will depend on how often you bake and how active you want your starter to be. Feeding it a higher ratio of flour and water will give it more food to ferment and grow, resulting in a more active starter. Just make sure to observe your starter’s

  7. Can I mix by hand instead of kitchenaid / hand mixer? If so, what method do you suggest. Thanks

    1. Chris, hi!
      Sure, you can mix the dough by hand.
      Usually it should take about 5-6 min , to incorporate starter, and about 10-12 min to incorporate salt and extra water.
      And I prefer to use Rubaud method, of just slap and fold.

  8. Thank you for sharing all this. Regards from Brazil.

    1. Karin!
      Thank you’
      Appreciate your support 🙌

  9. Hi Natasha!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    I wanted to ask a question about building the levain for this loaf. The recipe asks for 30 g bread flour and 5 g rye flour. However, my starter is built with whole wheat flour only (1 water : 1 flour). Should I feed it with bread flour for this loaf anyway? Or should I rather feed as I would do normally, i.e. with whole wheat flour? (Hope this question makes sense!)

    1. Hi!
      Great question!
      You have to feed starter the way it used to be fed.

      1. Riding on this post, do u mean that one should not change the type of flour that is fed to the starter? What about changing the ratio? Is that ok or one should stick to the normal ratios that the starter was originally made with. What would happen if the type of flour and/or ratio changes at each feed?

      2. Example, you have srarter which was fed Whole wheat flour with 1:2:2 ratio 2 times a day .
        But here in the recipe you see ratio 1:7:7 and 2 different kinds of flour.
        What will happen if you’ll change your regular feeding to one I’m using?
        1) different flour will disturbs micro flora of the starter, it will need time to adjust to it.
        2) starter fed before with 1:2:2 ratio, won’t be able to grow if you’ll feed it with ratio 1:7:7 .
        It will need time to adjust

        That’s why I said, that better to stick with your flour and feeding routine to use in this recipe.

  10. Hi, what size bastard proving basket do you use? I find that it doesn’t seem to hold shape well once I turn it out of my basket so wondering if I need a smaller one? Thanks!

  11. Hi Natasha, trying this recipe of yours today..:)
    Where i live its hot.32..35 wd u recommend transferring dough in chiller unit at stretch n fold between?
    Also did not hv rye so using ww fr starter..

    1. Hi!
      You can shorten the time in between stretches (20-30min) and final bulk maybe 20 min too.
      Use a shot glass to measure dough grows.
      Preshape at 40% rise

      1. Thanks fr such prormt reply:)
        Bread turned awesome ,with ncie soft crumb n.chewy crust.
        How d i.use fr measuring rise of dough?
        Also i bake on tile /stone, so boule felt kind of dint get good oven spring…could you suggest anything else..i hv deck oven with no steam i spray create steam

      2. Hi!
        I’m glad you liked it. Thank you for your feedback.
        Just spraying it’s not enough. You should put iron tray under the stone, and pour hot boiling water in it along with the dough.
        Also about shot glass. You punch out small amount to f the dough after adding a salt, draw a scale, and you can track how much dough rises during warm fermentation, and when to start shaping it. I prefer to preshape at 40% rise.
        Good luck 🙌

  12. Hi, my dough ended up rather stiff after coming out of the kitchenaid. It was cohesive, could get a window pane but wasn’t
    Very extensible during the stretch and fold. I had very good oven rise but the crumb was very closed. What could be causing this? The flour I used was a blend of bread flour (50%) and Semola (20%), T55 (20%) and wholemeal wheat (10%). The dough grew 40% (used a small dough to measure) before cold retard.

    Regards, SL

    1. Hello!
      You added flour, which required more water, (semolina and whole wheat). That’s why your loaf came out stiff inside.
      It should take up to 85% hydration

  13. Thanks Natasha for the quick response. Do you aim for window pane with the final kitchenaid mixing ?

    1. Actually, I’m checking windowpane only after autolyse 😊

  14. I finally tried it and it is my first successful sourdough bread! I’m so excited.. How can I achieve more holes in my bread as yours did in the pictures. What could have caused this? I followed your recipe exactly. Thanks.

    1. I’m glad with your success!
      Keep it up with great sourdough.
      There’s lots of factors involved to get an open crumb(proper fermentation, dough handling) But 80% of success is a healthy and strong starter.
      I never keep it in the fridge, feeding 2-3 times a day.
      If you are using fridge for storing starter, then you’ll need to do T least 3 feedings before adding it to the dough 😊

      1. If a starter is left out of the fridge, must it be fed daily / twice a day? Or what is the min feed?

      2. Yes, preferably 2 times a day for 2 days, before adding to the dough.

  15. Наташа, добрый день!
    Спасибо вам за рецепт, получил хороший результат. Правда, конечно не такой как у вас, не такой гребешок. Он у меня получился такой, как в классическом Тартине от Чада Робертсона, ровно по середине. Правда, я не проводил ферментацию в холодильнике, может быть в этом и есть причина.
    У меня три вопроса:
    1. Аутолиз. Почему вы на этапе аутолиза, не добавляете опару, а только смешиваете муку и воду?
    2. Пекарские проценты. Почему вы не берете в расчет муку и воду, которая идет в опару? Тогда получается, общая мука – 335 грамм, и общая сумма воды 207 + 15 + 35 = 257 грамм, и в результате влажность теста 76 %, и соответственно другие цифры по процентам.
    3. Замена воды. Вы не пробовали экспериментировать, частично заменяя количество воды в рецепте на молочную сыворотку?

    1. Вадим, привет!
      Спасибо за отзыв!
      1)если добавить опару в момент автолиза, начнётся ферментация, а нам нужно увлажнить муку сначала и развить клейковину. Поэтому опара идёт позже.
      2) разница всегда около 2% процентов
      Большой роли не играет
      3) молоко, пиво, фруктовое пюре . Пробовала все отлично работает . Сыворотка это интересно.

  16. Наташа, привет!
    Спасибо Вам за ответ!
    Хотел бы остановиться по поводу частичной замены воды в этом рецепте. Он (рецепт) действительно базовый, и универсальный. Во многих источниках встречается, имею ввиду процентное соотношение. А вот про замену воды редко встретишь информацию, а тем более, анализ замены сравнения с обычной водой. Я пробовал в вашем рецепте заменить частично воду на сыворотку. Это было 20 % сыворотки, остальное вода. Вкус улучшается, на мой взгляд конечно, но считается признанным (читал об этом) , что сыворотка улучшает так же срок хранения хлеба. Но если больше 20%, появляется явно выраженная кислинка.
    Интересно было бы узнать Ваш опыт, и мне кажется, не только мне. Это призыв к Вам посвятить этой теме внимание на вашем сайте. Ну, это как сочтете нужным в будущем. А сейчас, скажите пожалуйста, о молоке, сколько процентов вы использовали? И что получилось с мякишем, были ли поры, такие же как и с водой?
    Что касается автолиза, имею ввиду мой вопрос. Я попробовал автолиз с опарой, и без опары, разницы, честно говоря, не заметил.

    1. Вадим,
      Уже поставила молоко на творог, скоро будет сыворотка, и я хочу попробовать 100% сыворотку в рецепте. Результатом поделюсь.
      Молоко использовала только в тостовом хлебе. В обычном ещё не пробовала.
      Тоже интересно.
      Благодарю за идею 🙌

  17. I just finished this recipe, my first time making sourdough so I wasn’t expecting perfection. My loaf came out with a very large hole in the middle, so it was pretty much hollow. Any ideas on why that happened and how to avoid it next time? Also if I’m baking in a cast iron should I add an ice cube to produce steam, and when in the process?

    1. Genevieve, hi!
      I’m assuming you have a young starter (because you said it was your first loaf)
      That could be the answer for the big cave inside the loaf.
      Usually those kind of holes happen when dough was under fermented during warm fermentation.
      Dough made with Young starter might need little longer time to proof. Than I was describing in this article.

      1. Okie doke! I was considering letting it ferment an extra forty minutes last night but decided to go to bed instead. Ill give it longer next time. Thank you!

  18. Hi! Beforehand thank you Very much for all information provided! How cold is you refrigerator? You say you can leave the dough for up to 24hs there, would you mind telling me how come ir doesn’t overproof? Regards from Brazil

    1. Rafael,hi!
      Temperature in the fridge 3-4C.
      If you perform proper warm fermentation, and shape the loaf at about 50% rise.
      Then the dough will be slowly ferment in the fridge and won’t overproof.
      But if you missed the 50% mark, and shape it at 60%,70% or more. Then your loaf will definitely get overproofed during 24 hours retard 😊

      1. I guess that’s my problem, I’m usually missing this mark. Thank you for your time!

  19. I just tried this formula, it came out just perfect. It is my second attempt in the sourdough journey.

    Thanks very much for the perfect formula. It is clear and straightforward.

    1. Abdullah!
      Thank you so much for your feedback.
      Very happy 🤩

    2. Hi there!
      Is it possible to substitute the rye flour for whole wheat one, using the same proportion of tour recipe?

      1. Hi!
        Absolutely. Just use regular feeding routine for your starter.

  20. How do I bake without a Dutch oven?

    1. Use baking stone, preheated 500F for 1 hour, with tray under .
      As soon as you’ll put Piaf in the oven, pour hot boiling water into the tray.
      Close oven. Bake for 15 min, open oven, remove tray with liquid. Continue baking for 20 more min with temp 450F

  21. thank you so much!

    Also if i want to cook a bigger loaf and double the recipe how would it take to cook – would it be double the time?

    1. Hi!
      Thank you!
      For bigger loaf keep lid closed for 15 min at 500F ,
      And continue to cook at 450 for about 25-30 min.
      Until golden brown 🙌

  22. thank you so much!

  23. Ciao sto tenendo il mio lievito liquido a temperatura ambiente e gli do da mangiare due volte al giorno con rapporto 1:10:10 ma non mi va oltre il raddoppio , prima di utilizzarlo per il pane devo cambiare rapporto di cibo? Ti ringrazio

  24. how do you make a 50% wholeameal loaf

    1. You can follow same directions for 50% whole wheat loaf

  25. if the ingredients are doubled to make a large loaf how do i cook this? i dont have a dutch oven or stone? thanks

    1. You can use any pan with lid. Or try to use baking tray and create enough steam by putting another tray under, filled with hot boiling water.
      Steam is necessary for the crusty crumb.
      For bigger loaf bake it 15 min with steam, 25-30 min without steam until golden brown 🙏

  26. Can I omit rye and wholewheat? I just don’t like the taste.

    1. Sure, absolutely!
      Replace it with regular flour.

  27. Hi ,
    if I have a cover with baking tray should I need to add boiling water to create steam? Please and thanks 😀

    1. Hi!
      If you have a cover, then you do not need tray with water 😊

      1. Hi how can I avoid the black and hard bottom? And also do I need to spray water on the dough when it put into oven? Please and thanks 😊

      2. Hi!
        Use some foil, under parchment paper, it will prevent burning. Also if you bake in Dutch oven, you don’t have to spray the loaf.

  28. Hi Natasha
    Thank you for your recipes and posts. I started working with bolted bread flour and I’m struggling a bit with an open crumb. I‘m pushing it to about 82% hydration and my structure is pretty good. I suspect my bulk is going a bit too long (but I’ve also noted all your tips on a strong starter). Here’s my question:

    When you are checking the temp during bulk what are you looking for?

    My kitchen runs about 76 degrees and I’ve noticed that during bulk the dough goes from about 80 to about 76 at the end of the bulk.

    1. Raphael, hi!
      Sorry, somehow I missed your comment.
      When you work with higher hydration 80% and more, fermentation is supposedly should go faster.
      But temperature at your kitchen during the process seems ok.
      So you basically can shorten the time in between stretches to 40min, and see how it will go.

  29. Hello dear .. if I want to double the amounts ..
    I double the water adding with salt also ? 15g to 30g ?

    1. Hi!
      Yes! All correct! You have to double all the ingredients 🙏

      1. I double it but it come not good 😢
        The water too much
        The dough is too loose 🙁

  30. Ohh goodness…..I feel as if I’m being held hostage by baking bread this way…..

    Do you have any other recipe with less hands on – and time constraints?

    I still want to use my starter….

    1. Sorry! For the longer process. But usually great bread requires lots of time and patience. Also you can find same day sourdough in my baker’s journal 🙏

  31. Hi Natasha
    My starter is in fridge. As you mentioned have to feed at least three times before adding to dough.What is the ratio of starter, flour, water . If my first feed is at night 10 . Here day temp is around 32-35 c and night temp is around 25-26

    1. Bella, hi!
      It depends on the ratio your starter is used to be fed. Just follow it’s regular feeding routine.
      Example If it was fed it before 1:2:2 then continue to feed it 1:2:2.

  32. Hi dear
    Can i use all purpose flour for without any
    another flour with this recipe? With protein 11.3 and the same steps you used?

    1. Rana, hi!
      Yes you can. Make sure you’ll mix it longer in the mixer, or give more stretches and folds to build up enough strength with your flour.

      1. Thank you dear for your quick response

  33. I am new at baking sourdough, probably trying for 3 months. Been trying the tartine country loaf or a variation and always the bread is edible but very gummy. Yesterday I baked your Perfect Formula bread for the first time and although it is not as pretty as yours, did not get as much rise or the ear but the crumb was much better., and not gummy. Thank you so much for all your recipes and help on your website, can hardly wait to try another one of your recipes. Can you tell me what causes the bread to be so gummy?? Is it under or over proofing? Thank you for your help.

    1. Dorothy, hi!
      Thank you for your feedback.
      Gummy crumb could be from the weak starter or from overproofing the dough.
      Please keep practicing in bread baking and feeding starter properly, and you’ll be amazed with results 🙏

  34. Hi Natalya
    Thank you so much for all these great recipes and tips. It is very generous of you to give up yur time to help us all become better bakers. I just wanted to know what temperature your fridge is set at for the overnight rest?

    Kind Regards,

    1. Gerald! Thank you so much for your kind feedback. So happy to be helpful. My fridge usually is 4C/40F

  35. I am looking forward to trying out this recipe, but I have one question. When you build your levain, you use 5 gm starter, 35 gm water, 30 gm bread or AP flour and 5 gm rye flour. This adds up to 75 grams. Then to make your dough you use 60 grams of levain. So do you recommend using 60 of the 75 grams of levain and discarding the remaining 15 grams? Thanks!

    1. Larry hi!
      All correct, for the recipe you need 60g of starter, the rest can be used for future feedings.

      1. Thanks!

  36. My husband sent me a link from “Cabot” cheese company that put out a discard recipe for cheesy cornbread……with a suggestion for Thanksgiving!

    Perfect for those little bits (15 g) to save up!

    1. Sounds delicious, have to work on recipe too🙏

  37. Hi Natasha !!

    I am from India & we don’t get bread flour easily here. One we get are very expensive. I use all purpose flour for baking sourdough, but the results are not great. Crumbs are not open . I figured out that the protein the the flour is very can I bake sourdough with less amount of protein in the flour and still get the perfect results.

    Thank you. Your recipes are very inspiring.

    1. Hi dear!
      As long as protein content is 10% you still can manage to bake a nice loaf. Just perform longer mixing 🙏

  38. Hi

    Thank you very much for sharing the recipes.
    I try the recipe with flaxseed but the dough seems to be very wet and not developed enough gluten. Any suggestions?

    I use flaxseed and chia seed with 100% hydration soaker

    Adding during the 2nd stretch and fold. The dough developed good gluten stretch after the autolyse but once adding soaker it seemed to breakdown.

    Any suggestions?

    1. If you can’t save it by longer mixing, just add more flour then 🙏

  39. Hello. Do we need to covert the dough between folds?

    1. Yes, dough has to be covered in between folds 🙏

  40. Hi, may I know why is my end product gummy and dense? Also not much air holes…

    1. Hi! This could depend on various factors, from weak starter to overproofed/underproofed dough. Very hard to tell.

  41. Hello. I’m using Perfect Formula Sourdough and always happy with the results. I will try the seeded whole grain sourdough from your recipes (which contains butter and honey), I would like to know if I want to add soaker (oats, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds) to the perfect formula (without butter and honey) , what do I have to change in hydration? any tips will be appreciated. Thank you so much for your time. Stay Safe.

    1. Hi!
      Use whole grain loaf recipe, just don’t add honey and butter 🙏

      1. Thank you so much for your reply. Appreciate it.

  42. Good day, Natasha
    Since you are feeding your starter at 1:7:7 for it to rest 8-10 hours and you have a 14-24 hour cold fermentation, can one do the feeding late the night before and start the final dough process early in the morning? Thank you for sharing your precious talent. Jeanette (in Alabama, USA)

    1. Jeanette, hi!
      Sure you can follow yours starter regular feeding routine, as long as it will reach the pick by the time of starting the dough.

  43. Any chance i could use this method, but make the loaf 100% whole wheat (or close to that) with some soaked seeds in it? Would i have to increase the hydration etc.? If so, how much?
    I am completely new to sourdough baking.
    Yours sincerely, Mikal, 15 🐣

    1. Please check seeded loaf sourdough 🙏

  44. Hi, I would like to try this recipe today. Normally I baked my sourdough without using dutch oven. I just put a cup of water in the oven, bake for 30 min, then remove the water and bake for another 20 min. Is this method is good enough for sourdough? I am a starter here, baked only around 10 loaf and they don’t have this beautiful structure after baked. I am looking for way to improve them

  45. Hi Natasha
    I need your help , I am on my fifth trial it’s getting better every time but i need to know if the temperature in my kitchen around 31-33C i need to know how much time can i reduce between folds to avoid losing strength by the end of bulk fermentation ?

    And when baking i use dutch oven and i put the loaf on parchment paper and it gets stuck to the loaf really hard and i don’t know why also the lower crumb is really dense and hard ?
    So can you please tell me what is the issue ?

  46. Hi Natasha,

    Thanks this amazing recipe and detailed step! I just wondering if I only have bread flour, is ok to only use 300 g bread flour for this recipe instead of two different flour? If ok , do I need to change the amount of water and starter or just keep the same amount as your recipe? Thanks kindly!

    1. Florence, hi!
      Thank you!
      Yes, you can use only bread flour, also the hydration can remain the same.

  47. Hi Natasha,

    A problem I seem to encounter a lot is that when I turn out my bread ready for baking, it doesn’t hold its shape well. It flattens out which causes one major problem – where i score it, the score seals back up, resulting in an exploded loaf. Have you got any idea what might be causing this? I’ve baked a few loaves before and this seems to happen 50% of the time, depending on recipe.



    1. George, hi!
      Sorry to hear, that you are experiencing that problem.
      Maybe your flour is weaker (with less protein content?) then you have to lower the hydration, it might help 🙏

  48. Thank you for this tutorial

  49. Hi thanks for sharing the recipe
    You said add salt and extra water
    How much water should be added

    1. Hi!

  50. Hi, thanks for the recipe. You are GREAT!
    I tried this one, but my dough was wery wet at the end of the warm proof. Only single bubble before placing the dough into the fridge.
    I mention that I don’t have a mixer , that’s why I mixed the dough by hand. Maybe I didn’t mixed it too much? Sincerelly, I didn’t want to overmix, but maybe It was necessary to insist?
    Next morning, after cold fermentation, the dough was flat, very flat, and during the baking process it didn’t raise too much. The interior had big boubbles, not regular at all. Overproofing? Or underproofing?
    Please advise me what to improve.

    1. Teodora, hi!
      Sorry it didn’t work out. From your explanation, you said there were only one single bubble. I think the dough didn’t ferment enough. Anyway, keep practicing, and continue refreshing starter, results will get better.

      1. Thank you! Good luck.

      2. Hi Natalya!
        About how much levain (in grams) should I get after mixing them in the morning?
        Thank you!

  51. Dear Natalya, thank you so much for this beautiful and detailed recipe. When do you say on the recipe, @ 6:30 pm add sourdough starter you mean the 60 gr levain from the dough ingredients?? It is also my first time doing it outside of the basic recipes and I got a little confused. Thank you!

  52. Hi! Great recipe. I was wondering if there’s any tips for the dough being stiff and bulky during the stretch and fold process? Thank you!

  53. Hi,

    I was wondering if I don’t have ground whole wheat flour if I can just use regular flour. Would I have to adjust the water content for this to work?


  54. What is levain and how do I make it? I am a beginner and have no clue

  55. Hi!
    My dutch oven can only go up to 460F
    Is it okay to bake the bread at that temperature?

  56. I started my starter almost 4 weeks ago using your method. I feed twice a day without fail. Sometimes it floats, sometimes it sinks. Last week I decided to try this recipe. Twice I could not get the levain to rise. I cannot get my starter to cooperate and am not sure what I’m doing wrong. Any help is appreciated.

  57. Hello Natasha ! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes !

    Quick question : I just bought a proofing box and set it to 25, can’t remember in which recipe I read you used a ratio or 1:7:7 or 1:8:8 to refresh your starter 2 x day so every 12h.

    Problem is, at 25°C when using that ratio, my starter will have started to fall for a few hours after the 12h mark. I tried lessening the ratio like 1:10:10 but again, at 25°C it will go way faster than 12h.

    What should I do ? Use a ratio of like 1:15:15 , or lower the temp of my proof box to 23 or 24°C ? What’s the best for a starter ?

    Thanks a lot !


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