Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
12 mins. to 15 mins.
Baking time:
25 mins. to 30 mins.
Total time:
3 hrs 7 mins. to 3 hrs 45 mins.
Yield:
Two 10" loaves, 32 servings
This chewy loaf, with its deep-brown crust, has rich, deep, flavor, and very mild tang. We love this bread for its chewiness and golden crust, ideal qualities for panini; try it with ham and cheese, for a new take on that favorite sandwich.

New to sourdough? Find the help you need for all of your sourdough baking at our Sourdough Essentials page.
Volume Ounces Grams

Directions

  1. 1) Combine all of the ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.
  2. 2) Allow the dough to rise, in a lightly greased, covered bowl, until it's doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
  3. 3) Gently divide the dough in half; it'll deflate somewhat.
  4. 4) Gently shape the dough into two oval loaves; or, for longer loaves, two 10" to 11" logs. Place the loaves on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425F.
  5. 5) Spray the loaves with lukewarm water.
  6. 6) Make two fairly deep diagonal slashes in each; a serrated bread knife, wielded firmly, works well here.
  7. 7) Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it's a very deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Tips from our bakers

  • For an assertively sour loaf, read our recipe for Extra-Tangy Sourdough Bread.
  • Want a brick oven effect? Rather than dividing the dough into two separate loaves, shape it into one large ball, and place it in the base of a round covered stoneware baker, such as La Cloche. Put the lid on, and let the loaf rise for 1 hour. Make two slashes on top of the bread, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, removing the lid of the baker for the final 5 minutes of baking.