There’s more than just wild yeast in sourdough—there’s wild spirit. Unsurprisingly, this particular loaf has been intrinsic to the American pioneer identity. California gold prospectors carried their starters in their backpacks, traveling from camp to camp with their magical “sponge,” as they called it, the base for biscuits, flapjacks, and, yes, bread.
Distinguished by a dramatic open crumb, chewy golden crust, and signature tangy flavor, sourdough is a significant benchmark in the baker’s journey. It’s a test of the baker’s patience and dedication, requiring one to nurture and build a starter, a microbe-rich flour-and-water mixture that’s been fermented and fed for several weeks.
Then you need to sacrifice a part of this precious thing—only a couple of tablespoons, don’t worry—to be baked into an air-pocked boule that has equal parts height, texture, and taste. With our in-depth guide and a little help from the brand new and revolutionary Le Creuset Bread Oven, we’re demystifying the incredible but easy process. Soon, you’ll be on your way to becoming a bona fide sourdough obsessive. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson, or keep scrolling to view our digital lesson.
New to baking sourdough? A little intimidated by baking your own boule? Join us Monday, March 28, 2022 at 8pm, EST for our Baking School In-Depth class! Brian Hart Hoffman will be teaching all things sourdough. He will be taking an in-depth look at sourdough bread, showing you every step of the process, from making the levain to shaping and scoring your boule. The final piece to the sourdough puzzle? Getting that perfect bake with the new Le Creuset Bread Oven!