Renewing your spirit one bite at a time

Country Sourdough Bread


country sourdough bread

Country sourdough bread yields major flavor due to the long fermentation time. This results in a tangy flavor and a chewy, fluffy texture. The hydration level of this recipe creates a very soft and pillowy feel to the bread, which is so lovely. The mixture of white and whole wheat flour makes for a complex flavor profile that gives this bread a traditional feel. It is hearty, crispy, and ever so sour making it a wonderful bread for sandwiches, toast, or dipping into soups. If you are craving a true artisan sourdough bread this recipe is for you!

country sourdough bread slices

What is country sourdough bread?

Country sourdough bread is a type of bread made from a sourdough starter. It is typically made with a combination of white and whole wheat flour, giving it a rustic texture and flavor. The dough usually rises for an extended period of time, which allows the sourdough culture to develop and ferment, resulting in a tangy flavor and chewy texture.

Country sourdough bread is often baked with a hearty crust and a slightly open crumb, while the flavor is slightly sour. It makes for great sandwiches, toast, and dipping into soups or stews. It is a traditional bread that has been enjoyed for centuries in many countries, including France, Italy, and Germany. This type of sourdough bread is one of my favorite recipes.

country sourdough bread crumb shot

Tips for Success

  • Feed your sourdough starter the day before you plan to make the leaven.
  • Make the leaven early in the morning as it will take 4-6 hours for it to double in size. Using a warm environment like your oven is a great spot for the leaven to rest. Alternatively, the leaven can be made the night before you mix the dough.
  • This recipe was tested at 68 degrees F and the dough required 7 hours of proofing time during the first bulk rise. In warmer temperatures, it may need less time. This dough rises quickly due to the whole wheat flour, watch the dough, not the clock.
  • A few indicators the dough is ready to be shaped: it has doubled in size and has a few air bubbles, and if you poke it about 1/2 an inch in, it rises slowly back up.
  • During the second bulk rise, you can allow the dough to ferment in the refrigerator for up to 36 hours. I let the dough sit in the fridge for 2 days before baking it, this is what gives it that incredible flavor. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 15 hours.
  • It is okay if your bread ends up being a little flatter! Country sourdough bread is long fermented and usually on the fence of being slightly overproofed. In this case, it actually makes the bread better!
country sourdough bread slices

How to make country sourdough bread

Baker’s schedule: feed your starter the evening before, mix your leaven early in the AM (8 AM), mix the dough by 2 PM, and bake within 36 hours of placing the dough in the refrigerator.

Alternatively, the leaven can be mixed the evening before you plan to make the dough. It can rest overnight for up to 12 hours at room temperature. The dough would then be mixed in the morning.

Ingredients

For the leaven

  • 15 grams of recently fed sourdough starter
  • 25 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 25 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 50 grams of filtered water

For the dough

  • 100 grams of leaven (from above)
  • 425 grams of bread flour
  • 75 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 10 grams salt
  • 360 grams of filtered water
  • sesame seeds for topping (optional)

Equipment

Make the leaven

  • In the morning, mix together the sourdough starter, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and water in a jar. Loosley place a cap on the jar and mark where the mixture sits.
  • To speed up the rise of the leaven, turn your oven on and then off and place the jar in the oven.
  • Alternatively, the leaven can be mixed the evening before you plan to make the dough. It can rest overnight for up to 12 hours at room temperature. The dough would then be mixed in the morning.
country sourdough bread leaven

Mix the dough & autolyse

  • Once the leaven has doubled in size from the marked line, prepare to mix the dough.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl add the bread flour, whole wheat flour, and water (hold off on the salt). Mix with your hands until a shaggy ball is formed and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Allow the leaven and dough mixture to rest for 30 minutes next to each other in a warm spot.

Allowing the dough to autolyse ensures the flour absorbs all of the water.

Combine the leaven & dough

  • After the autolyse is complete, sprinkle 10 grams of salt over the dough mixture and add the leaven on top.
  • Dimple the leaven into the dough using your fingers and repetitively fold the dough into itself to ensure everything gets mixed in together (about 3-5 minutes) until a ball is formed.
  • Then, cover the dough mixture and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

Stretch and folds

  • After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, perform your first stretch and fold.
  • This is where you scoop your hand under a portion of the dough and stretch it a few inches and fold it to the opposing side. You will stretch and fold all 4 quadrants of the dough.
  • Once complete, cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Perform 3 more stretch and folds within 30-minute increments, totaling 4 stretch and folds.
  • Once all stretch and folds are complete, cover the dough and let it rest for the remainder of the bulk rise or until it has doubled in size (this took 5 more hours total @ 68 degrees F).

Pre-shape the dough

  • Once the dough has finished its first bulk fermentation, it can be pre-shaped.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and create a round shape by using your bench scraper and hand repetitively turning it in a circular motion.
  • After a round ball shape has been created, cover the dough with a towel or bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Final Shaping

  • For this country sourdough bread recipe, I like to use the batard shaping method. But, if you prefer to shape it in a boule that is perfectly fine. I will be providing batard shaping instructions for this recipe.
  • Lightly flour your oval banneton basket with rice flour or all-purpose flour and add some sesame seeds to the bottom of the banneton basket (this adds a wonderful flavor & dimension to the bread). You can also spray the bread with water and sprinkle seeds on it once it has been shaped.
  • Sprinkle a little flour over the surface of the dough and flip it over.
  • Gently pat it into a rectangular shape and take the left side of the dough and fold it to the middle. Take the right side of the dough and fold it over the left side pressing the seam down.
  • At the top of the dough cross the right and left sides over each other. Then, roll it into a log shape and tighten the seams by pressing them together.
  • Lastly, place the dough in the banneton basket seam side up. You can tighten the seam in the banneton basket if needed. Cover it with a towel or place it in a 2.5-gallon bag and place it in the refrigerator for 15-36 hours.
Tighten the seams in the banneton basket
Tighten the seams in the banneton basket

Score & Bake

  • When ready to bake, place your dutch oven or cast iron in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F for at least 30 minutes.
  • When the oven is ready, remove the bread from the refrigerator and invert it on a piece of parchment paper. Optional: spray your bread with room temperature water to create steam for a better oven spring and add more sesame seeds if desired.
  • Using a bread lame or sharp razor score one curved line in the middle of the dough. Hold your tool at a 45-degree angle and start at the top of the dough going all the way to the bottom of the dough.
Score your dough
Score your dough
  • Place the dough in the pan using the parchment paper and reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes covered.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 22-25 minutes.
  • Once the bread is complete, allow it cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours before cutting into it & enjoy!
Country Sourdough Bread

More sourdough bread recipes

country sourdough bread
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Country Sourdough Bread

Discover the traditional flavor and artisan appeal of this country sourdough bread. Made with a mix of white and whole wheat flour resulting in a rich, complex flavor!
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time42 minutes
Proofing time3 days
Keyword: rustic sourdough bread
Servings: 1 loaf
Calories: 180kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or cast iron
  • Mixing bowl
  • Bench scraper
  • Scoring tool
  • Food scale
  • Parchment paper
  • Banneton basket

Ingredients

For the leaven

  • 15 grams recently fed starter
  • 25 grams all-purpose flour
  • 25 grams whole wheat flour
  • 50 grams filtered water

For the dough

  • 100 grams of leaven (from above)
  • 425 grams bread flour
  • 75 grams whole wheat flour
  • 10 grams salt
  • 360 grams filtered water
  • sesame seeds for topping optional

Instructions

Make the leaven

  • In the morning, mix together the sourdough starter, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and water in a jar. Loosley fit a cap on the jar and mark where the mixture sits.
    To create a warm environment for the leaven turn your oven on and then off and place the jar inside the oven.
  • Alternatively, the leaven can be mixed the evening before you plan to make the dough. It can rest overnight for up to 12 hours at room temperature. The dough would then be mixed in the morning.

Mix the dough & autolyse

  • Once the leaven has doubled in size from the marked line prepare to mix the dough.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl add the bread flour, whole wheat flour, and water (hold off on the salt). Mix with your hands until a shaggy ball is formed and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Allow the leaven and dough mixture to rest for 30 minutes next to each other in a warm spot.

Combine the leaven & dough

  • After the autolyse is complete, sprinkle 10 grams of salt over the dough mixture and add the leaven on top.
  • Dimple the leaven into the dough using your fingers and repetitively fold the dough into itself to ensure everything gets mixed in together (about 3-5 minutes) until a ball is formed.
  • Then, cover the dough mixture and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

Stretch and folds

  • After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, perform your first stretch and fold.
  • This is where you scoop your hand under a portion of the dough and stretch it a few inches and fold it to the opposing side. You will stretch and fold all 4 quadrants of the dough.
  • Once complete, cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. Perform 3 more stretch and folds within 30-minute increments, totaling 4 stretch and folds.
  • Once all stretch and folds are complete, cover the dough and let it rest for the remainder of the bulk rise or until it has doubled in size (this took 5 more hours @ 68 degrees F).

Pre-shape the dough

  • Once the dough has completed its first bulk fermentation, it can be pre-shaped.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and create a round shape by using your bench scraper and hand repetitively turning it in a circular motion.
  • After a round ball shape has been created, cover the dough with a towel or bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Final shaping

  • For this country sourdough bread recipe, I like to use the batard shaping method and will be providing those instructions. But, if you prefer to shape it in a boule that is perfectly fine.
  • Lightly flour your oval banneton basket with rice flour or all-purpose flour and add some sesame seeds to the bottom of the banneton basket (this adds a wonderful flavor & dimension to the bread). You can also spray the bread with water and sprinkle seeds on it once it has been shaped.
  • Sprinkle a little flour over the surface of the dough and flip it over. Gently pat it into a rectangular shape and take the left side of the dough and fold it to the middle. Take the right side of the dough and fold it over the left side pressing the seam down.
  • At the top of the dough cross the right and left sides over each other. Then, roll it into a log shape and tighten the seams by pressing them together.
  • Lastly, place the dough in the banneton basket seam side up. You can tighten the seam in the banneton basket if needed. Cover it with a towel or place it in a 2.5-gallon bag and place it in the refrigerator for 15-36 hours.

Score and Bake

  • When ready to bake, place your baking pan in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F for at least 30 minutes.
  • When the oven is ready, remove the bread from the refrigerator and invert it on a piece of parchment paper. Optional: spray your bread with room temperature water to create steam for a better oven spring and add more sesame seeds if desired.
  • Using a bread lame or sharp razor score one curved line in the middle of the dough. Hold your tool at a 45-degree angle and start at the top of the dough going all the way to the bottom of the dough.
  • Place the dough in the pan using the parchment paper and reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes covered.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 22-25 minutes.
  • Once the bread is complete, allow it cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours before cutting into it & enjoy!
  • Any leftover country sourdough bread can be stored in an airtight container or bread bag for 3-4 days at room temperature.

Notes

Baker’s schedule: feed your starter the evening before, mix your leaven early in the AM (8 AM), mix the dough by 2 PM, and bake within 36 hours of placing the dough in the refrigerator.
Alternatively, the leaven can be mixed the evening before you plan to make the dough. It can rest overnight for up to 12 hours at room temperature. The dough would then be mixed in the morning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 328mg

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