Larry’s Sourdough Bread Method — Part IV

If you haven’t seen it, you should start with Part I of this four-part series.

How I make 4 medium size Sourdough Loaves

Part I

  • The Introduction
  • The Overview
  • The Ingredients and The Utensils

Part II

  • Wake up the wee yeast beasties
  • The Sour in Sourdough
  • Flour Power
  • Be Honest but Autolyse

Part III

  • Make it Slick
  • The Need to Knead
  • The Rise of The Wee Yeasties
  • A 2nd Batch for Hungry Friends

Part IV

Into the Loaf Pans

After 1½ hours, maybe a few minutes more, the first batch will be doubled. Remove the wax paper cover and save it, we’ll need it later. Note: if you drop the proofing bowl sharply on the kneading board, it will slowly collapse in an entertaining way. The gas released is CO2, but not enough to contribute in any significant way to global warming climate change.

Roll out the risen and perhaps collapsed dough out on the kneading board. Form it into a ball as before, then gently roll it into a loaf shape to cut it into two parts.

Form into two balls, then gently roll it into two loaf shapes.

Place the formed loaves into the bread pans. Cover with the waxed paper.

Cover with the saved wax paper and back to the proofing box. I use a larger pan to hold the loaf pans for convenience.

The Last Rise Before The Heat is On

The final rise will be about an hour. In time for the oven to be hot and ready, it should be set to 425°F. (220°C., Gas Mark 7) and a water bowl put in to maintain moisture. I use a coffee filter to increase the moisture from evaporation, I’ll use two if more moisture is needed. Warning: always make sure there’s water in the bowl or you may bake smoked sourdough! ☹ (On the bottom of the oven are unglazed tiles. They help stabilize the temperature.)

When the dough if finished rising, remove (and discard) the wax paper and place the loaf pans in the sink.

Spray lightly with pure water and then with a very sharp and wet knife, slash gashes in the top so the crust won’t tear while baking in the oven. [Note: You have to make this slash in a single quick, sure stroke. If you’re timid, or take your time, you’ll deflate the dough.]

Then into the hot oven for 30 minutes. I put them directly on the baking stone, but it’s not necessary to do so.

The house will fill with the odor of freshly baked bread. This has been reported to rise from slumber a male teenager before noon on Saturday. When done remove from oven and place then on the cooling racks.

How Cool is This

Immediately turn out from loaf pans and place on side to cool. They will actually cook a little longer, so resist the urge to slice them immediately. And then there were four.


The end.

That’s it for Larry’s Sourdough Bread Method. If you ask nice, I’m sure Larry will share the recipe for the jalapeño-cheese variation he mentioned in Part I. In the meantime, his recommendation for more information on bread baking is: Adventures in Sourdough Cooking & Baking ©1977 ©1971 by Charles D Wilford.