Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread Recipe (Master Recipe) (2024)

Jump to Recipe· 5 from 9 reviews

This Dutch oven sourdough bread recipe is perfect for beginners. Learn how to make a classic Dutch oven sourdough boule. This is my master recipe for Dutch oven sourdough bread, which means you can use this as a base recipe for any sourdough bread you want to make.

Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread Master Recipe

This is my master recipe for Dutch oven sourdough bread. This is the recipe I use to develop all my other Dutch oven sourdough bread recipes with fillings incorporated.

So think of it as a base recipe. If you would like to fold in herbs or more ingredients, you can! See the tips in the sections below.

Here are the ingredients and things you need to get started:

  • Sourdough Starter:We have an easy sourdough starter recipeHERE. You’ll need to start this seven days before baking or two days before if you use our quick recipe option!I feed my starter 100% rye flour or a 50/50 rye all-purpose mix.
  • Flour:I use bread flour or unbleached all-purpose for my Dutch oven sourdough bread.
  • Water:You can use tap water to bake bread; I do. But if you prefer bottled or filtered, that works too!
  • Salt:Unrefined sea salt, please! Just make sure your sea salt is unrefined and free from anti-caking agents.
  • Spray Bottle Filled with Fresh Water:This is a must-have for stretching and folding the dough. (see the section below)
  • Dutch oven:a 6-quart Dutch oven with a lid works best for this recipe.(see more details on the size below)
  • Proofing Basket:You can use a proofing basketlike this one or a bowl with a tea towel coated in flour.
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What Size Dutch Oven for Sourdough Bread?

I think the best Dutch oven size for baking sourdough bread is 5.5 to 6 quarts. Now, what size you can use depends on the size of the loaf you are baking, though. Smaller loaves can, of course, be baked in a smaller Dutch oven.

For this master recipe and all of my Dutch oven sourdough bread recipes, a 5.5-quart Dutch oven works perfectly.

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The Best Dutch Oven for Sourdough Bread

Here are my favorite Dutch oven options. These all work great and last forever if you care for them properly. Strictly follow any care instructions you receive with your Dutch oven. You can use an enameled or a non-enameled Dutch oven:

Over time, it will change colors if you bake a ton of Dutch oven sourdough bread in a light-colored enameled Dutch oven. As you can see in the picture below, my Dutch oven has gone from pristine white to what I call “lived-in” white lol.

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Before Baking Sourdough Bread in a Dutch Oven

The hardest step to making a Dutch oven sourdough boule (boule = round bread) is stretching and folding. It takes patience and a gentle touch. I suggest watching Bake with Jack on YouTube for a tutorial on stretching, folding, and shaping the dough.

I have three main rules for stretching and folding my sourdough loaves:

  1. Don’t use a floured surface. You must turn the dough onto a clean surface to stretch and fold. Some people suggest sprinkling flour on the surface but DO NOT. Get yourself a little spray bottle and fill it with fresh water. Spray your surface and hands with water before turning the dough out on the surface. This prevents sticking without making the dough dense with too much flour. The more hydrated your dough, the greater the rise will be.
  2. Make sure you adjust the time with the temperature. The time you need to wait between stretch and folds depends on the temperature in your house. If your house is above 75° F, you may be able to reduce the amount of time between stretch and folds to one hour.
  3. Do at least three wet surface stretch and folds in 6 hours. You can do a stretch and fold every hour for six stretches and folds or every two hours for three stretches and folds minimum.
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What Makes Sourdough More Digestible?

Sourdough is the oldest form of bread. Experts say the bread originated in Egypt long ago… as in 1,500 BC. Since commercial yeasts were obviously unavailable back then, bread products had to be naturally leavened using wild yeasts.

Wild yeasts are captured in asourdough starteralong with flavor-developing microorganisms, like lactic acid bacteria. When I say “captured,” I mean they come from the flour you use to make it.

The wild yeats are significantly more acid-tolerant than packages of baker’s yeast. So the yeasts in sourdough are still very active and able to produce carbon dioxide to make the bread rise even when they’re in the presence of acid-producing bacteria.

Visit oursourdough starter blogto learn more about the microbiology of sourdough starters.

Since sourdough ferments during a longer rise time than traditional bread, it’s much easier to digest and more flavorful.

The flavor comes from the wild yeasts and bacteria metabolizing the sugars in the dough during the long rise times and producing acids as byproducts. This is also why the bread is easier to digest! Essentially the microorganisms do some of the digesting for you in this sourdough bread recipe.

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Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread Nutrition

Sourdough bread is made out of flour, just like regular bread. However, the fermentation process makes the nutritional components of the flour more bioavailable.

Lactic acid bacteria in sourdough starters are able to reduce phytic acid, the compound that can prevent nutrient absorption in regular bread. Without the phytic acid, binding to the minerals, you can absorb more potassium, phosphate, magnesium, folate, and zinc from the bread.

Those amazing little lactic acid bacteria also produce antioxidant compounds (postbiotics) and SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) during the fermentation process. Aren’t lactic acid bacteria awesome?!

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Sourdough Starter Problems?

If you have trouble with your starter rising, check out this blog: Why is My Sourdough Starter Not Rising? How to Fix a Flat Starter. You can also read about Sourdough Starter Mold: Common Sourdough Starter Problems and How to Fix Them

If you are looking for an easy-to-follow sourdough starter recipe, I have two:

  • How to Feed a Sourdough Starter with Bread Flour
  • How to Make Rye Flour Sourdough Starter
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Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread Recipe Variations

You can fold many things into sourdough bread. My favorite things to fold into Dutch oven sourdough are herbs, nuts, seeds, cheese, and dried fruits.

To fold ingredients into sourdough, wet your counter and gently stretch the dough out without breaking the dough.

Then, you will carefully sprinkle the additions over the dough before you roll it up into the dough and fold the sides over each other for the stretch and fold.

Then you will knead the dough again. It will get sticky, and some ingredients may tear through the dough, but that’s okay.

Here is a great video from my favorite baker on youtube, Bake with Jack, to help you learn how to incorporate fillings without breaking the dough. CLICK HERE.

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More Sourdough Bread Recipes to Try

  • The Best Sourdough Cinnamon Bread with Maple and Pecans
  • Rustic Rosemary Sourdough Bread
  • Sweet Sourdough Pumpkin Bread With Cinnamon and Pecans

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Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread (Master Recipe)

Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread Recipe (Master Recipe) (10)

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5 from 9 reviews

This Dutch oven sourdough bread recipe is perfect for beginners. Learn how to make a classic Dutch oven sourdough boule. This is my master recipe for Dutch oven sourdough bread, which means you can use this as a base recipe for any sourdough bread you want to make.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Sourdough
  • Method: Fermentation

Ingredients

  • 500 Grams Organic Bread Flour
  • 300 grams Water
  • 100 grams Sourdough Starter
  • 1015 grams Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. It’s best to start the sourdough process before 9 am so you have enough time. Please check the notes section of this recipe for tips.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the starter, flour, salt, and water.
  3. Knead the ingredients together until a uniform dough ball forms.
  4. Using a spray bottle filled with water, mist your clean countertop. Wet your hands and wet the top of the dough ball with the spray bottle. Turn the dough out onto the wet counter surface. Scrape out the bowl and rinse the inside of the bowl really well. Leave the bowl wet.
  5. Stretch and fold the dough. Stretch the top of the dough over the bottom, side over side, and bottom over top. Place the dough back in the bowl with the seam side down. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Stretch and Fold 1: Using a spray bottle filled with water, mist your clean countertop again. Wet your hands and wet the top of the dough ball with the spray bottle. Turn the dough out onto the wet counter surface. Scrape out the bowl and rinse the inside of the bowl really well. Leave the bowl wet.
  7. Stretch and fold the dough. Stretch the top of the dough over the bottom, side over side, and bottom over top. Place the dough back in the bowl with the seam side down. Let the dough rest for 2 hours.
  8. Stretch and Fold 2: Using a spray bottle filled with water, mist your clean countertop again. Wet your hands and wet the top of the dough ball with the spray bottle. Turn the dough out onto the wet counter surface. Scrape out the bowl and rinse the inside of the bowl really well. Leave the bowl wet.
  9. Stretch and fold the dough. Stretch the top of the dough over the bottom, side over side, and bottom over top. Place the dough back in the bowl with the seam side down. Let the dough rest for 2 hours.
  10. Stretch and Fold 3: Using a spray bottle filled with water, mist your clean countertop again. Wet your hands and wet the top of the dough ball with the spray bottle. Turn the dough out onto the wet counter surface. Scrape out the bowl and rinse the inside of the bowl really well. Leave the bowl wet.
  11. Stretch and fold the dough. Stretch the top of the dough over the bottom, side over side, and bottom over top. Place the dough back in the bowl with the seam side down. Let the dough rest for 2 hours.
  12. Clean and dry the counter surface you’re working on. Sprinkle some flour on the surface of your counter and coat your hands in a bit of flour. Gently flip the dough out onto the floured surface so that it is seam side up.
  13. Pre-shape: Gently stretch out the dough, and fold it again. Fold side over side and top over bottom. Then flip the dough over so that the seam side is down on the counter. Tuck under any parts of the dough you need to form a nice circular shape. Leave the dough on the counter, sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough, and cover with a tea towel.
  14. Let the dough rest for 1 hour.
  15. Sprinkle a little more flour on the top of your pre-shaped dough and on the counter around the dough. With your hands coated in flour, flip the dough over so that the seam side is up again.
  16. Gently stretch out the dough, and fold it again. Fold side over side and top over bottom. Then flip the dough over so that the seam side is down on the counter. Tuck under any parts of the dough you need to form a nice circular loaf shape. This is the final shaping so take your time with it.
  17. Coat a proofing basket with flour and bread toppings (optional). You can also use a bowl lined with a towel and a generous amount of flour.
  18. Flour your hands and swiftly pick up and flip your dough into the basket. Smooth side down, seam side up.
  19. Cover and place in the fridge overnight for 8-12 hours.
  20. After the 8-12 hours in the fridge, preheat your dutch oven with the lid, in your oven at 450 degrees F.
  21. Once your oven is preheated, carefully remove your dutch oven and place the lid to the side. *Don’t forget that it’s very hot!*
  22. Cut a large square of parchment paper and place it on the counter. Turn your dough out onto the paper so that the seam side is down and touching the parchment paper.
  23. Score the dough using a very sharp knife or a scoring tool.
  24. Picking up all four corners of the parchment paper, move your dough into the dutch oven.
  25. Place the lid on the dutch oven and bake at 450 F for 30 minutes.
  26. After baking covered, remove the lid and bake for another 20-30 minutes at 450 F.
  27. Remove your finished loaf from the dutch oven and allow it to cool for at least 1 hour.

Notes

  • The time you need to wait in between stretch and folds depends on the temperature in your house. If your house is above 75° F, you may be able to reduce the amount of time between stretch and folds to one hour.
  • You can also speed up the time in between stretch and folds by using a bread proofer or heating pad near the dough. Just stretch and fold when the dough has risen a bit and relaxes out into the bottom of the bowl, and make sure you do at least three stretches and folds. Monitor the dough to make sure you do not over-proof.
  • when flouring your proofing basket, it helps to use coarse flour such as rye, masa, or rice flour.
  • Depending on your oven, you can bake at a lower temperature. Some ovens run hotter than others.
  • When baking with the dutch oven lid off, check every few minutes. Some ovens run hotter than others, so check to see when the loaf is golden brown.

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Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist

Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

See Full Bio

fermentation food microbiology sourdough sauerkraut fermenting at home fermented foods fermented drinks

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Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread Recipe (Master Recipe) (2024)
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