Dr. Mountford's Sourdough Breadmaking Class

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Dr. Mountford's Sourdough Bread Recipe Makes 2 loaves

*DISCLAIMER: This is designed to be the MOST SIMPLE sourdough recipe possible. It takes minimal time and effort on your part. There are MANY ways you can overcomplicate this recipe if you wish, but I have PERSONALLY TESTED the more complicated methods and have found that this way works great. Using this recipe (and an awesome starter with quality ingredients) I am consistently told that this bread is among the best sourdough bread they have ever tasted -even by bread snobs.*

  • 700g-750g water (70-75% hydration) -filtered
  • 150g Starter
  • 20-25g Salt (ancient sea salt is best for nutrition)
  • 1000g Flour (organic, non-gmo, fresh-ground is best -no need to use sprouted. The long ferment has the same effect as sprouting, so save your $$)

Combine Ingredients

  • Mix: In a large bowl, stir water and salt together. Then add the starter (the starter should pass the float test -i.e. It should float-). Stir in the flour, cover and set aside at room temperature.

Let It Rise

  • Bulk Rise: Let it rise until it doubles (5-8 hrs depending on the room temperature). You can always put the dough in the fridge if you want to slow this process down so you can attend to other things. I often let mine sit overnight.
  • Pull and Fold: This technique will align gluten bonds and should be performed 2+ times (most people do this upwards of a half dozen times or more over the course of the bulk rise). To do this, wait about 30 minutes after you mix all the ingredients well. Then wet hands, grab the side of the dough, pull it up, and fold it over into the center. Then rotate and perform again until you work around the circumference of the dough. You’ve just completed a pull and fold. Let the dough rise and do it again at least twice, but more will probably make it look prettier when you bake it.

Prepare For The Cold Ferment (Makes It Sour)

  • Form Into A Tight Ball: Perform one last Pull and Fold and place dough on the counter, divide into two and shape each into a ball. You want to build surface tension on the outside of the dough. You do this with different techniques:
    • Use a bench scraper to move the dough over an un-floured surface so that the front edge is pulled under the dough. Repeat at different angles until you have a tight ball.
    • Use your hands on a floured surface (rice flour is best) to form a ball and push the sides of the dough underneath until you have a tight dough ball.
  • Side Note: At this point, you could bake it or use it to make pizza or other sweet breads (monkey bread, cinnamon rolls, waffles, etc.) Online recipes will probably have you add other things like butter or sweeteners to the recipe, so look it up and have fun with it.
  • Proof: Place in the Proofing basket. Place the dough into a well-floured (rice flour is best) proofing basket with the bottom side up. Cover (hand towel, saran wrap, etc.) and let the bread rest 6-12 hrs in the fridge.


  • Place the Dutch oven inside of the oven and preheat to 415 degrees F. Place the dough all on parchment paper with the seam side down. Score the top as you please. Place the bread inside the Dutch oven (NO NEED TO LET IT COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE). Bake it for 30 min with the lid on. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 20 min. Remove from the oven. Let the bread rest for ~10 min and enjoy.

Caring For Your Starter

  1. Use or discard the majority of your starter so there is only a small residual portion of the starter left adhering to the jar.
  2. Add an equal weight of water and flour (use a scale) according to how much starter you plan to use for your next bake.
  3. Allow 5-8 hrs on the counter OR 1 week in the fridge for it to rise / double in size for it to be ideal for baking (the yeast will be at it’s most active state). You can use it after it has risen and then fallen, but your bulk rise will take longer to double.
  4. You will know if it is ready to use when it floats in water. However, you can still use it earlier or later, it will just take more time for the bulk rise before the dough doubles.

Equipment List

Starter: jar, organic flour, filtered water, yeast.

Bread Making:

  • Required: kitchen scale (grams setting), Bowl with lid, Bread Flour (organic), Salt (ancient sea salt), Mixing utensil, Bench dough Knife, Banneton (proofing basket), Saran wrap/cover for banneton, Dutch oven, Parchment paper
  • Optional: Bowel Scraper, Rice Flour, Lame (scoring tool)

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