The 1-2-3 method for sourdough bread is a simple and easy-to-follow recipe that produces delicious, crusty loaves with a soft and chewy interior. The recipe is named after its three main ingredients: flour, water, and sourdough starter, which are combined in a ratio of 1 part sourdough starter, 2 parts water, and 3 parts flour.
How to make the sourdough bread with 1-2-3 method
To begin, make the overnight starter. For 2 loaves, take 100g of 100% hydration sourdough starter, add water and flour, mix, and let it rest for 10-12 hours, at room temperature.
The next day, in the morning, prepare the final dough. Mix the overnight starter with 2 parts water and 3 parts bread flour or a mixture of flours. Autolyse for 30 minutes, add salt and knead for 5-8 minutes. Let the dough to ferment for 2.5 hours, with stretches and folds every 50 minutes, during which time the natural yeast in the sourdough starter ferments the dough, giving it its distinctive tangy flavor and airy texture.
Divide the dough into two pieces, shape them into balls, and let them rest for 15 minutes. Prepare the pans or proofing baskets. Reshape the two pieces of dough into loaves and put the dough in, seam-side-up. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
This final rise is crucial, as it allows the dough to develop the proper structure and texture for baking.
How to bake sourdough bread
The following morning, preheat the oven to 470°F (240°C) with a baking stone, Dutch oven, or a baking sheet. If using a baking stone or sheet, put a pot of water in the oven to create steam. Turn the proofed loaves onto parchment paper, score with a bread lame or sharp knife, and carefully transfer them to the preheated baking vessel. Bake for 20 minutes with steam, then remove the water pot or Dutch oven lid. Reduce the temperature to 440°F (230°C) and bake for another 15-20 minutes without steam, until it is golden brown and crusty on the outside. Cool the bread on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before cutting.
One of the benefits of the 1-2-3 method is its simplicity and flexibility. The recipe can be easily adjusted to make smaller or larger loaves. You can also change the type of flour used to create different flavors and textures. Additionally, the fermentation time can be varied depending on the desired level of sourness in the bread.
The 1-2-3 method is a great choice for anyone looking to make delicious sourdough bread at home with minimal fuss and hassle. With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, anyone can create a beautiful and tasty loaf of sourdough bread using this easy-to-follow recipe. Hope you will try the recipe and enjoy the amazing flavors of sourdough bread. If you do, make sure to share the photos with me on Instagram. I love seeing how it turns out for you.
Basic Sourdough Bread – 1-2-3 Method
Overnight Sourdough Starter
- 100 g 100% hydration sourdough starter
- 100 g water
- 100 g bread flour
- 300 g overnight sourdough starter
- 600 g water
- 900 g bread flour or a mixture of flours ( I used 700g bread flour +100g whole wheat flour + 100g rye flour)
- 18 g salt
Prepare the overnight starter.
- To make the overnight starter, in the evening, stir down the 100% hydration sourdough starter, and remove 100g in a large bowl. First, add the water and stir well. Add flour and stir. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for 10-12 hrs (overnight).
Prepare the final dough.
- In the morning, in a large bowl mix the overnight starter with water until well combined. Add the bread flour or mixture of flour as desired and mix to combine. Let the dough rests (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
- Add the salt and knead by hand for 5-8 minutes. Wipe the inside of the bowl with a little vegetable oil. Place the dough into the bowl so the dough can be stretched and folded without removing it from the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough ferment at room temperature for 2.5 hours, stretching and folding on 4 sides, every 50 minutes, using wet hands. A total of 3 stretches and folds.
Shape the dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide it into two pieces. Shape them in the form of a ball. Sprinkle the balls with flour, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare two loaf pans or two round pans with 2 kitchen towels, sprinkled with flour, or use bannetons if you have them.
- Reshape the two pieces of dough in the desired shape. Either boule (round) or batard (oval loaf shape). Add the dough seam-side-up on the prepared pans or baskets and cover it with the edges of the towel.
- Cover the baskets or pans with a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight to bake the next morning.
How to bake the bread.
- The next morning, turn the oven to 470°F (240°C) with either a baking stone or a Dutch oven. In case you don't have any, simply use a baking sheet, and preheat for 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking (If using the baking stone or the baking sheet place a small pot with water at the base of the oven to create steam, the Dutch oven does not need it as the lid will create enough steam.)
- Turn the proofed loaves onto parchment paper and score them using a bread lame or sharp knife. Carefully transfer it to the preheated Dutch oven, baking stone, or the back of the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes with steam then remove the pot with water from the oven. When using a Dutch oven simply remove the lid.
- Reduce oven temperature to 440°F (230°C) and bake for another 15- 20 minutes without steam.
- Cool on a wire rack. Let them cool completely before cutting for at least 2 hrs.