Frustrated by watching YouTube video after YouTube video to learn how to bake sourdough bread, only to turn out disappointing loaves? Drastically shorten your learning curve by attending this small, interactive class!
With a maximum of 12 students, we will make our bread side by side. Invest a weekend to learn a life-long skill—baking traditional bread with only flour, water and salt.
n.b. To make the bread, you will need a mature sourdough starter ready to bake with. If you don’t have one, read my tutorial here. A new starter will need about 10 days to mature before it can make bread. I also teach free online sourdough starter classes every couple of months. Check my events page for updates.
Class Zoom schedule
We will meet several times over the weekend. On Saturday, while we are offline during the bulk fermentation, I’ll stand by. If you need help, please call. I’ve also included lots of time in the schedule to answer your questions.
- Friday 7am–7:15am PT: feed our starters
- Friday 7pm–8pm PT: soak the flours and make the leaven
- Saturday 7am–8:30am PT (give or take): make the dough and begin the bulk fermentation
- Saturday noon–1:00pm PT (give or take): form the loaves
- Sunday 7am–8:00am PT: bake the loaves!
Very important! Arrive to class with an active starter!
If you store your starter in the refrigerator and feed it weekly, please pull it out at least two days before class to resume daily feedings—and keep it out on the counter.
The starter is ready when it has almost finished rising—you’ll still see a dome at the top and lots of bubbles—or it has just begun to fall. It will smell slightly fruity and only very slightly sour if at all.
Class materials for two loaves
The right tools make baking easier. However, you don’t need all of the expensive tools that I’ve listed here. When I was stranded at my mom’s in Canada at the beginning of Covid, I used the minimal equipment she had and I baked fabulous loaves. Go here for a post on making bread without the fancy tools.
For preparing the dough
- Scale (optional but highly recommended for accuracy)
- Measuring spoons and cups if you don’t have a scale
- Rubber or bamboo spatula
- Kettle or microwave to heat water up a bit
- 4-cup glass measuring cup
- Large ceramic or glass bowl, 4 to 5 quart capacity, or about 10- to 12-inch diameter
For shaping and proofing the dough
- Dough scraper
- Clean surface to shape the dough on (wooden board or countertop)
- Two 9-inch banneton baskets OR two 9-inch bowls (any material) lined with thin tea towels
- Thin tea towel or baking sheet to cover formed loaves
- Space in your refrigerator to proof your formed dough overnight
For baking the bread
- 5-quart cast-iron Dutch oven or larger; cast-iron combo cooker; covered 10-inch glass pyrex dish (5-inches tall, minimum); large uncovered cast-iron skillet; pizza stone; or cookie sheet
- Very sharp knife or lame
- Something for taking notes
- Your jar of active, lively starter
- 650 grams whole wheat flour (5 cups)
- 250 grams unbleached all-purpose or bread flour (1 ¾ cups)
- 200 grams rye or spelt flour (1 ½ cups)
- 25 grams salt (1 ½ scant tablespoons)
- Extra flour (any of the types listed above) for shaping and dusting the dough
- Cornmeal if you won’t bake in a Dutch oven or cast-iron combo cooker
- I use organic flour but non-organic flour will work.
- I use tap water in my bread. Filter your water if you prefer. If your water contains high levels of chlorine, the day before class, fill a container with water and cover it securely with a cloth to prevent impurities from falling in. Some of the chlorine will evaporate.
- You don’t need banneton baskets but they do make dropping the dough into a hot Dutch oven much easier. Mine look like these.
- A homemade lame to score your loaves changes everything! I made my own out of a razor blade and a wooden stir stick. If you opt to make a lame, be careful! My daughter Charlotte bought me this one for Mother’s Day last year and I love it.