French Sourdough Bread with 6 Ingredients

(chuck) #1

Good bread with just 6 ingredients:

1 C starter ~ 235g - well fed and active
1/2 C milk ~ 65g to 70g - make consistency moist
1 T sugar ~ 10g - I used 1 T barley malt
2 T melted butter
2 t ~ 14g salt
2 1/2 C ~ 325g KA Bread Flour - I swapped 1/2 C of KA Whole Wheat

Mix ingredients in the above order, adding flour a bit at a time.

Mix to incorporate. Cover and raise until double in size. Knead on floured surface until smooth. Rest covered for 15 minutes. Form desired loaf then raise until double. Preheat oven to bake at 375º for 10 minutes, then bake for 20 min at 325º. Remove when the internal temperature is 200º.

Kamut® (Khorasan) Sourdough Bread
(Melissa) #2

That looks so delicious! A couple of questions…

Did you let it rise on a board, free form. Or did you put it in a basket?

Did you cook it in a dutch oven/clay baker?

(chuck) #3

Raised in a covered small bowl until double-note height. Folded gently 4-5 times on board.

Formed, 2nd raise covered then baked on wire pizza plate in open oven (dont know the name). It is a circular aluminum wire form that we use to hold and bake pizza.

(Melissa) #4

Cool thank you! One more question: do you do any of that tray of water or throw ice cubes in oven stuff?

(chuck) #5

Did worry about water at one time, but I find it easier to baste lightly with water immediately before baking. I do this when I want a nice dark crisp crust and I’m not using a covered vessel. Doing the basting makes a nice brown crust that comes immediately, crispness comes later. The water blends with the sugars in the dough causing the color change.

Easier to accomplish with a covered vessel, but mine are too big for small loaves like this one.

(Melissa) #6

I didn’t know how to make that cool shape you did. And I messed up the cook time and temp due to sloppy copying of the recipe. (I lowered the temp right away.) And I used a dutch oven because I don’t have the pizza screen.

BUT I think it turned out okay looking and it taste very good. Making sandwiches now for kid school lunches.

Thank you for the recipe!

P.s. my rise times were 6 hrs in 75’ oven with light and 3 hrs covered on counter 68’ while I had to be elsewhere and crossed my fingers.

Maybe it could have been taller if I shaped something tighter and did a shorter second proof??

(Jim) #7

Chuck, that is a gorgeous loaf! I can’t wait to try it myself. Thanks for sharing.

(chuck) #8

Your crumb is awesome, looks like whatever you did was perfect. The looks - look good, shapes look cool, but how about the taste. This bread makes very good sandwiches and is even better toasted. BTW I baked bread in a dutch oven until I got tired of burning my fingers. Since then I use all kinds of vessels. Some of the best found at GoodWill stores. I’m getting a $200 Griswold 4" deep wrought iron chicken fryer with a lid for $5.00 from a friend, that’s what he paid for it at GW. I’ll use it for baking flat loaves especially corn bread. If it will take the temperature and looks like I can make a loaf like shape I give it a try. The pizza screen works well for bread and great for pizza.

The proof time is predicated on: the activity of your SD starter. If you have been feeding for several days it will raise in a couple of hours. If the temp is down and the barometric pressure is up it will take more time you might want to add a pinch or two of yeast if you are in a hurry.

Yesterday, with active SD starter I had the dough in my 100º oven for over 3 hours and I still had to rely on the oven pop to get this loaf. I baked at 410º for 10 minutes; then 325º for 25-30 min. The internal temp was 205º when I took this loaf out. Also instead of basting with water in the beginning on this loaf, I misted the dough when first put into the super heated oven.

Relating to the timing you can always put the dough in the fridge and then pick up the raising when you get back. Add an extra 45 minutes or so to allow dough to get up to room temp. I adjust time all the time when I have to leave the process at some point. This type of baking does not require one contiguous block of time. You can adjust your raise time, making it longer or shorter, with the temperature of the water. Using water at 110º (higher will kill the culture) will speed up the process while using cold water will slow the process. Like adjusting the raise time by raising at room temp, or at 100º, or in the fridge for 18 hours. Use these variables to suit your available time.

(Melissa) #9

Congrats on the $5 fryer! I am going to try the pizza screen soon, with some sort of misting or basting.

I (cross my unscarred fingers) haven’t burned myself yet on my DO or clay baker. My most inventive vessel was the enameled ceramic? interior of a slow cooker, topped with foil. My luck of no burns may be due to big-ish vessels (5qt and 9 qt) and small hands. I know from rock climbing that my little fingers fit in cracks that guys’ fingers do not. On the flip side big “pincher” holds are no fun for my mini mitts.

I think I’ll warm up the milk in the microwave next time I make this recipe. Though I combined it with the melted butter, it was still probably pretty cold.

Yes, the bread was super toasted and used in sandwiches. I even used it sliced thick as a hamburger bun. :slight_smile:

Edited to add: great looking loaf again!

(Jeff) #10

Thanks for this recipe. It came across my inbox at just the right time - ready to make another bread, and wanting to try something different. My attempt raised a few questions.

I followed the recipe, first rise was about 5 hours (the house was cool in the morning), second rise was about 3 hours. I sprayed the loaf with water before putting in the oven, on a simple rack similar to the one you describe. I left it in 5 minutes longer than your times, because it just looked too “blonde” and I didn’t think it was done.

It came out of the oven looking pretty much like the pictures of others’ attempts, but maybe a little lighter in color. Not sure that spraying the water really made much of a difference in the crust, crunch or color. When I cut into it, it was really not baked enough, it was generally under-cooked, kinda gummy in places. Also, not much “sourdough” flavor was evident.

So what went wrong for me?


How can you tell the temperature inside the loaf? Do you use a meat thermometer or something?

Do I need to cook it longer, or at a higher temperature? Or both?

What about using a dutch oven? I thought you’d need a wetter dough (like in the no-knead recipe) for that to work. If you use the dutch oven, I assume you preheat it in the oven.

Anyway, I’d like to try this again, but want to know what to modify to get a better result.


(Paul) #11

These oven gloves that Eric sells are the bomb. Turning dough out into a hot vessel is especially non-problematic, but you can also just slip them on and take the vessel right out of the oven, grab the baked bread out of the vessel and put it on the cooling rack, etc. They are dextrous enough to do anything I’ve needed to do in terms of working with hot stuff in the oven. I wouldn’t know how to bake bread without them.

(Melissa) #12

Paul, Thanks for the glove rec. :slight_smile:

Jeff & Chuck, I made the bread again last night into today. I had a lot of fun experimenting. (Jeff, I do use a digital meat thermometer - love it - way $$$ but worth it for all the cooking and brewing that happens in my house).

I’m really happy with how crispy the crust is on this one.

My variations:

I doubled the recipe and of the 5 cups of flour total, one was spelt, four were KA bread flour

I kneaded the dough about 20 times before putting it in an oiled bowl.

Bulk fermentation 8 hrs

I spread dough flat on counter, split it, and made a ball with half the dough and three mini baguettes with the other half - dough felt very dry

Second proof, on counter for 5 hrs

Preheated oven to 425 with pizza screen, DO and cast iron pan inside 25 min.

Cooked baguettes on pizza screen 425 for 20 min, water poured into cast iron right after placing baguettes on screen.
Cooked boule in DO: 425 for 20 min, lid off 400 for 15 min (at this point it was very brown and the interior was 180’ so I did: 350 for 5 more min

Next time I’ll try: 425 for 20, lid off 400 for 10, 350 for 10

Here are my pics. Get ready to laugh at my multi-tasking, my first attempt at shaping baguettes, and my oven that needs a cleaning.

(chuck) #13

Looks fantastic & good Idea making more to include baguetts. Recipe is great for both. How did you like the Pizza screen. I really like using mine. About forming the baguetts. I find rolling from the middle out works when not stuffing gaguetts. When stuffing I roll the dough flat 1/4"x 9"x 20" and stuff in 3 columns lenght wise leaving open dough between to allow rolling the filling into the baguette and pressuring the stuffed dough on each of three times - rolling and pulling towards yourself again and again.

The bread looks great as well as the baguettes. Oh, I dont heat the screen. Actually I do second raise on the screen with a piece of parchment that can be left on the sheet or taken off carefullyl

Glad you enjoy the recipe.



(chuck) #14


How can you tell the temperature inside the loaf? Do you use a meat thermometer or something?

I always use digital termometer, bake until 200º or more, but never close to or more than 212º. Moisture evaporates at the boiling point of water. The less time the longer you need to let loaf cool - if it has been fully baked. Seems like your biggest problem was cooking time. When not fully baked it will be gummy! I find that bread is done after 196º but at that point it is gummy and very moist. Works for cake and keeps moisture in, but not well to develop a proper loaf’s crumb.

Do I need to cook it longer, or at a higher temperature? Or both? .

Time and temperature are exchangeable to some degree. Add time at less temp or decrease time and raise the temp. They are exchangeable, find what combo works for you.

What about using a dutch oven? I thought you’d need a wetter dough (like in the no-knead recipe) for that to work. If you use the dutch oven, I assume you preheat it in the oven.

I have not tried a DO for this recipe, you will have to experiment to find the right prep and combinations. Sorry to drop this on you, but I don’t like my DO for baking, it is deep and tends to overcook the bottom of the loaf and usually I get burnt putting in or taking out! IF that is what you want to try, raise it up in the oven as high as possible, keeping it off the bottom which is the hottest. Try wetter and see how it works for you. For now, I would try baking on something open and flat like a cookie sheet, pizza stone, pizza screen, anything flat what will take the temperature. You could even use the DO lid upside down if it will sit in your oven staying flat.

Anyway, I’d like to try this again, but want to know what to modify to get a better result.

I would get some type of temperature measurement. Digital works perfectly and gives you the information that you need. Great investment if you like cooking especially baking. Eric has quite a few ranging in price from $15.00 and up. A simple digital thermometer will do wonders and I believe solve most of you problems: color, crust, soggie-ness. One more thing you must bake completely to at least 200º (I like 205-207º) and also let the bread completely cool before slicing otherwise you will have a gummy loaf,

As to the SD taste I find the more moist and airy (less thick) you starter is the more SD taste you get. When SD starter is old and has lots of fluid (alcohol), when fed it will give the best flavor. SD taste is very subtle, delicately complex and comes last to your taste buds and is a by-product of the culture(s) in your area. If you lather the bread with jelly or butter or both. It is possible that you will cover the SD taste completely. Try a plain piece of toast, you will get the SD taste, and a wonderful taste that we are looking for.

Meat theromometer will work, but take a while to get to temp. Digital readings are in seconds. If that is what you have, by all means use it, but don’t put it in until the loaf is somewhat firm for fear you will deflate the loaf. Be sure to leave it in the bread where you can read the temp. I usually put the probe into the loaf 5-10 minutes before the time when it should be done which allows the loaf to support the weight of the probe. The measurement at that point is usually in the 185-190º range when inserted into the middle of the loaf. Inserting deeply will measure the bottom of the loaf and that will be a higher temp than the middle of the loaf.

Hope these statements help. Caveat…They work for me. Best Luck to you on your next attempt. I’m sure you will be happy with the result. 8~)


(Melissa) #15


I like the screen and am looking forward to making pizza on it. I’m supposed to season it, according to the instructions that came with it, so heating it up in the oven was me trying to get ahead in the seasoning. :slight_smile: I will definitely use it for baguettes and other stuff, but I preferred the crispier crust I got from the DO.

The baguettes actually tasted pretty different from the boule. Both delicious, but baguettes noticably more sour. My husband got into “professional beer judge mode” when tasting both, and said more caramelized sugars in the boule crust, more acid in the baguettes, which he theorized was from greater oxygen exposure due to shape.

Thank you so much for the baguettes shaping tip. I can’t wait to try it.

Here’s a question for you and other experts. The boule scores opened wide. The baguettes didn’t. Do you think this is due to DO vs. pizza screen? Or does dough proof at a different speed when shaped differently i.e. did the baguettes proof more in the same amount of time, leaving less oomph for oven spring.

Here’s a pic of my proofing stage. Under the Domes

(Vickie) #16

Could we possibly see some pictures of the thrift store vessels you use? My mother-in-law goes all the time and I could ask her to keep her eye open for me.

(chuck) #17

Baguetts vs Boule -> Baguetts shrink length wise end to end and expand sideways side to side. Historically baguetts have 5 scores running at a 45º angle or smaller to the baguette. Your scoring was perpendicular 90 to the baguette so it was influenced by the baguette shrinking in length, where if you had scored in a more vertical or even in parallel to the baguette it would have opened more because of the baguette’s tendency to expand side to side rather than end to end. Also the volume of dough to be able to stretch is very different in the two. By the color of the two it looks like there was more water on the boule than on the baguette, but that is a WAG.

Hope your questions are resolved. Sure looks like you have it going your way.



Note the angle of the score almost parrallel. This baguette photo is not mine, looks much better than mine do.

-> for baguette recipe and instructions.

(dorisw1) #18

I’ll try it!!!

(Melissa) #19

I had to look up WAG - lol. love it. that acronym will be entering my texticon. I did a more angled score and it was much better looking and the shaping technique you suggested worked better too. thanks again!

(chuck) #20

… 8~)