Easy Beginner Sourdough Crusty Bread (Low Hydration)

This Easy Beginner Sourdough Crusty Bread (Low Hydration) recipe is a complete step-by-step guide to making easy-to-work-with sourdough crusty bread. This delicious, from scratch sourdough bread is one you’ll want to have on your kitchen counter every day of the year. All you need are a few simple ingredients and you’ll be on your way to baking the best sourdough bread you’ve ever made! It’s a foolproof recipe for the perfect sourdough loaf you’ll be sure to master!

beautiful sourdough bread in a white dutch oven with crusty bread in it

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Sourdough Toolkit

Ingredient list

To get started making this recipe, you’ll want to gather these ingredients:

  • 150 grams active sourdough starter, fed, bubbly, and doubled in size the consistency when you feed the starter should be thicker than pancake batter and show a little resistance when you stir it. Once the starter is “active” you should need to giggle it out of the jar. If your starter “pours” out of the jar, then it could be over fermented starter (sourdough discard).
  • 300 grams filtered, room temperature water 
  • 25g avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 10 grams sea salt
  • 500 grams organic, unbleached, all-purpose flour or bread flour

Here’s How To Make My Easy Beginner Sourdough Crusty Bread (Low Hydration)

the easiest beginner sourdough bread on wood cutting board with bread knife

Step by Step Instructions

I start by feeding my sourdough starter a standard feeding with this ratio:

  • Sourdough Starter: 35g
  • Slightly Warm Water: 140g
  • All-purpose Flour: 140g

Once the starter has doubled in size it’s time to make the dough.

Make the dough

Measure the ingredients using a digital scale

  • Turn on your digital kitchen scale. Set the dough tub on the scale and press “tare” to make the scale read 0g.
  • Add 150g active sourdough starter into the tub. Then press “Tare”. The scale should read 0g.
  • Next, add 300g room temperature water, 25g avocado oil, then 10g sea salt. Using a wooden spoon or spurtle (or any kitchen until), stir the water and starter until the water is nice and creamy.
  • Now add in 500g of all-purpose flour. Shake or scoop a couple cups worth of flour at a time, until you reach the 500g. *If you accidentally add too much flour, just scoop as much as you need to off the top.

Mix the dough and let it rest

  • Remove the dough tub from the scale and place on the countertop. Stir everything together until a shaggy dough has formed.
  • Place the lid on the tub and let it rest for 30 minutes so that the flour can absorb the water.
  • After the 30 minute rest, stir again making sure everything is nicely incorporated, I like to use my hand that I’ve dampened with a small amout of water to fully incorporate the flour.
  • Grab the dough and stretch it up and fold it over just a few times.

Bulk Ferment

  • Place the lid on the dough tub and place it on the counter for roughly 4-12 hours or until doubled in size. 
  • Sourdough will typically rise in 6-8 hours in my house.
  • Example: It could take the dough 4 hours to double in size in the summer months, or 10 hours to double in size during the winter months.

Shaping the dough 

  • After the bulk rise, and your bread has doubled in size, remove the dough from the tub onto a clean work surface. *Dough will feel slightly sticky, this is perfectly normal. 
  • Next, form a ball out of the dough.Make your hands damp with a small amount of water. Fold the dough over itself. It’s easiest to do this with a bench scraper. It will begin to change texture as you push and pull the dough a few times on the counter top.
  • Now, fold all the corners to the center, flip the ball over, and push with one hand and pull the dough ball on the counter with the other hand about 4-5 times and then twist it in the circle to help seal up the bottom seams until a round loaf has formed.

The second rise

  • Place a tea towel into your banneton basket, letting the edges fully hang over the baskets. Lightly flour the tea towel, rubbing the flour in with your hands a bit so that the dough does not stick to the tea towel. Grab your dough ball, turn it over, and place the ball in the floured tea towel banneton basket. Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough and fold the four corners of the towel over the dough. *Since this is a lower-hydration dough, I like to simply flour my banneton basket and put it straight into the basket without a liner for beautiful bakery-style ridges, but that is optional.*
  • Let the bread rise for 1 hour until puffy (it will Not double in size).

To bake the bread 

  • After the 1 hour rest, preheat the oven to 450℉. Place a dutch oven with the lid on in the oven to preheat, while the oven is preheating. Lay 1 sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Turn your dough out of the banneton basket onto the parchment paper. Take a sharp knife and slice a 2-3 inch line, a small square, or any other kind of small scoring pattern on the top of the bread.
  • Once the oven is preheated, remove the dutch oven, take the lid off, and using the parchment paper to pick up the bread, place the bread in the hot dutch oven and put the lid on.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for 10-15 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes before slicing the bread. *baking note: You can place a cookie sheet on the oven rack below the bread to prevent the bottom of the bread from over-browning.

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beautiful sourdough bread in a white dutch oven with crusty bread in it

Easy Beginner Sourdough Crusty Bread (Low Hydration)

Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:40 minutes
fermention:10 hours
Total Time:10 hours 50 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 digital kitchen scale
  • 1 6 Qt. dough tub with lid
  • 1 wooden spoon or spurtle optional
  • 1 bench scraper optional
  • 1 tea towel or banneton basket liner
  • 1 banneton basket
  • unbleached parchment paper sheet
  • 1 dutch oven
  • Bees Wax Paper or Paper Bread Bag optional

Ingredients

  • 150 grams active sourdough starter, fed, bubbly, and doubled in size The consistency when you feed the starter should be thicker than pancake batter and show a little resistance when you stir it. Once the starter is "active" you should need to giggle it out of the jar. If your starter "pours" out of the jar, then it could be over fermented starter (sourdough discard).
  • 300 grams filtered water room temperature
  • 25 grams avocado oil or olive oil
  • 10 grams sea salt
  • 500 grams organic, unbleached, all-purpose flour or bread flour

Instructions

Measure the ingredients using a digital scale

  • Turn on your digital kitchen scale.
    Set the dough tub on the scale and press "tare" to make the scale read 0g.
  • Add 150g active sourdough starter into the tub. Then press "Tare".
    The scale should read 0g.
  • Next, add 300g room temperature water, 25g avocado oil, then 10g sea salt.
    Using a wooden spoon or spurtle (or any kitchen until), stir the water and starter until the water is nice and creamy.
  • Now add in 500g of all-purpose flour. Shake or scoop a couple cups worth of flour at a time, until you reach the 500g.
    *If you accidentally add too much flour, just scoop as much as you need to off the top.

Mix the dough and let it rest

  • Remove the dough tub from the scale and place on the countertop. Stir everything together until a shaggy dough has formed.
    Place the lid on the tub and let it rest for 30 minutes so that the flour can absorb the water.
    After the 30 minute rest, stir again making sure everything is nicely incorporated, I like to use my hand that I've dampened with a small amout of water to fully incorporate the flour.
    Grab the dough and stretch it up and fold it over just a few times.

Bulk Ferment

  • Place the lid on the dough tub and place it on the counter for roughly 4-12 hours or until doubled in size.
    Sourdough will typically rise in 6-8 hours in my house.
    Example: It could take the dough 4 hours to double in size in the summer months, or 10 hours to double in size during the winter months.

Shaping the dough

  • After the bulk rise, and your bread has doubled in size, remove the dough from the tub onto a clean work surface.
    *Dough will feel slightly sticky, this is perfectly normal.
  • Next, form a ball out of the dough.
    Make your hands damp with a small amount of water. Fold the dough over itself. It's easiest to do this with a bench scraper.
    It will begin to change texture as you push and pull the dough a few times on the counter top.
  • Now, fold all the corners to the center, flip the ball over, and push with one hand and pull the dough ball on the counter with the other hand about 4-5 times and then twist it in the circle to help seal up the bottom seams until a round loaf has formed.

The second rise

  • Place a tea towel into your banneton basket, letting the edges fully hang over the baskets.
    Lightly flour the tea towel, rubbing the flour in with your hands a bit so that the dough does not stick to the tea towel.
    Grab your dough ball, turn it over, and place the ball in the floured tea towel banneton basket.
    Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough and fold the four corners of the towel over the dough.
    *Since this is a lower-hydration dough, I like to simply flour my banneton basket and put it straight into the basket without a liner for beautiful bakery-style ridges but that is optional.*
  • Let the bread rise for 1 hour until puffy (it will Not double in size).

To bake the bread

  • After the 1 hour rest, preheat the oven to 450℉. Place a dutch oven with the lid on in the oven to preheat while the oven is preheating.
    Lay 1 sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Turn your dough out of the banneton basket onto the parchment paper.
    Take a sharp knife and slice a 2-3 inch line, a small square, or any other kind of small scoring pattern on the top of the bread.
  • Once the oven is preheated, remove the dutch oven, take the lid off, and using the parchment paper to pick up the bread, place the bread in the hot dutch oven and put the lid on.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for 10-15 more minutes.
    Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes before slicing the bread.
    *baking note: You can place a cookie sheet on the oven rack below the bread to prevent the bottom of the bread from over-browning.
Course: Bread
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Healthy Elizabeth

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