• sourdough bread

Country Sourdough Recipe

This recipe uses the Folding Proofer to create a perfect rise and mild acidity in wild yeast-leavened bread.

This wonderful bread gets complex flavor and a mild, delicious tang from a little dark rye in the sourdough starter.  It has enough whole wheat and rye to give it a robust, earthy flavor, yet still retains a moist and open crumb and has a bit of chew.  Hearty and versatile, it’s sublime with butter and pairs well with everything from cheese to main courses.

Printable Recipe          recette imprimable

sourdough bread

Timing:  Mix the starter the night before baking and plan on mixing the main dough about 12 hours after the starter.

Equipment:  Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer, pizza stone and supplies for your favorite oven steaming method.  An instant-read thermometer can be helpful for gauging water, dough and internal baked bread temperatures.


Sourdough Leaven

Grams Ounces Volume
Sourdough starter* 18 0.6 1 T + 1 tsp
Unbleached flour,
11-12% protein
50 1.8 5 ½ T
Whole grain rye flour** 20 0.7 2 T + 1 tsp
Water, room temperature 38 1.3 2 T + 1 tsp

*Ideally a mature, active white starter with 100% hydration.

**If dark rye flour is unavailable, medium rye, whole wheat or unbleached flour can be substituted.

Mix the Leaven.  Set up the Proofer with water in the tray and the thermostat at 72 °F / 22 °C.  Weigh or measure all the leaven ingredients into a bowl and stir until smooth and well mixed. Transfer to a clean jar or container and cover. Ferment at 72 °F / 22 °C for 12 hours, until risen by 2.5 times to a volume of about 1⅛ cups.

Main Dough

Grams Ounces Volume
Unbleached flour,
11-12% protein
341 12 2⅜ C
Whole wheat flour 55 1.9 ⅜ C
Water, lukewarm 281 9.9 1 C + 3 T
Salt 9 0.32 1½ tsp

Mix and Autolyse the Main Dough.  Check that the Proofer has water in the tray and set the thermostat to 78 °F / 25 °C.  Warm the water to about 84-90 °F / 29-32 °C (use cooler water if room temp is quite warm).  Measure or weigh the flours into a bowl, add the water, and mix until all the flour is moistened.  Make a well in the dough and add all the sourdough leaven from above. Without mixing the leaven into the dough, draw the sides of the dough up and over the top of the leaven to encase it.  Let sit for about 30 minutes in the Proofer.

sourdough bread dough in prooferFerment the country sourdough at 78F / 26C

Add the Salt.  Sprinkle the salt over the main dough and mix until both the salt and the leaven are fully incorporated.  Transfer to a lightly oiled container with a volume of at least four cups (1 quart / 1 liter).

Ferment the Dough at 78 °F / 26 °C. Set the dough in the Proofer and ferment for about 2.5 – 3.5 hours.  During the first 90 minutes, give the dough three folds. For each fold, perform a four-way stretch and fold (all four sides get stretched and folded to the center), then stretch and fold the corners of the dough to the center as well.  After the folds are complete, leave the dough undisturbed until it reaches a volume of 4 cups / 1 liter.[/fusion_text]

dough 4-way stretch and fold

Stretch and Fold

Pre-Shape the Dough.  Gently stretch and fold four sides of the dough to create an even, square or rectangular shape, then cover and let rest for 15 minutes.  While the dough is resting, prepare a sheet pan or proofing basket with baker’s linen or a well-floured kitchen towel.

shaping bread loaf

Shaping the Dough into an Oval

Shape into an Oval.  Place the dough seam side up on a lightly floured surface, then fold the square package in half with the seam at the long edge closest to you (see picture).  Seal the seam by pressing down.  Flip the loaf over with the seam centered and facing up, and place it on the linen-lined sheet pan.

Proof the Loaf.  Place the loaf in the Proofer, still set to 78 °F /26 °C, for 2 – 2.5 hours, until visibly larger but still able to spring back slowly after making an indentation with a finger.

Prepare to Bake.  About an hour before baking, place a pizza stone in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 °F / 232 °C.  Prepare to steam the oven using your regular method (such as tossing ice on a preheated sheet pan) or set out a deep, oven-proof rectangular pan to cover the loaf and create a steam chamber.

Slash and Bake with Steam at 450 °F / 232 °C.  Gently invert the loaf onto parchment or a floured peel.  Brush excess flour from the top and sides of the loaf.  Using a baker’s lame or serrated knife, slash in one long line or two slightly angled lines.

Slide the bread onto the hot pizza stone and steam the oven or cover the loaf. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the crust turns deep golden brown and the internal temperature reaches about 205 °F / 96 °C.  After 20 minutes of baking, turn the loaf to facilitate even browning and remove the cover or steam pan.  Cool to lukewarm before slicing.

Slash the surface to allow steam to escape.

Slash the Loaf

Overall Formula

Grams Ounces Baker’s %
Unbleached flour,
11-12% protein
400 14.1 84.3%
Whole wheat flour 55 1.9 11.6%
Whole rye flour 20 0.7 4.1%
Water 328 11.6 69.1%
Salt 9 0.3 1.8%
2017-05-12T14:42:07+00:00Bread & Sourdough|12 Comments


  1. Trish January 20, 2016 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Love the timeline! Will try this formula – thank you!

    • Diane January 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you. We have created the timeline for every bread recipe and will add each of them to our website recipes soon. They will also be added to “Printable Recipes” and will print well in gray-scale. We appreciate you taking time to send us a note.

  2. Harry Freudenberg October 19, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Hello, I have used your proofer for a number of years, since before you posted any recipes. I have, for about 5, 6 years had difficulty getting a good, consistent sour in my finished bread. I will try this recipe immediately. Thank you,


    • Diane January 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      Harry, Good luck with this recipe. It has been a favorite of many customers and even younger bakers. All the best in baking and thank you for your interest.

  3. David Kirkpatrick November 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    What are the starter proportions used/or best with the recipe? Does
    it matter?

    • Diane November 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm - Reply

      David, Ideally it is best to use a mature, active white starter with 100% hydration. Enjoy this wonderful loaf!

  4. Kenny Bright January 31, 2018 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer, pizza stone and supplies for your favorite oven steaming method.
    This is misleading:
    1. Pizza stone – not provided by you
    2. supplies for your favorite oven steaming method

    By lumping them together you are in effect saying your device will do all.
    For a novice like me i get unraveled.

    • Diane February 2, 2018 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      Kenny, We apologize for misleading anyone. The “favorite oven steaming method” is often an old dedicated pan which rests on the lowest shelf in your oven. After you place the dough to bake in the hot oven, immediately place 2-4 ice cubes into the small pan for steam. (wear gloves for safety) We have used an old rusty 8″ cast iron pan for years and it stays in the oven all the time. Other bakers have other systems of a cover placed over the dough when it is in a dutch oven. The cover is removed after the indicated time, allowing the crust to brown. The reason for steam is that if you place dough in a hot oven and the crust is suddenly dried by the dry heat, the loaf can not rise and expand. You may know all this but in case other readers are not sure we just want to cover the subject thoroughly. A Pizza Stone is optional, however the thickness of a stone which has been well heated prior to baking your loaf can enhance the lift/rise in the bread during baking. Thank you for taking time to write and please let us know if we can assist you in the future. All the best in baking!

  5. Norma Schutt March 6, 2018 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Baked this loaf tonight using our healthy sourdough starter. It came out beautifully and tasted delicious with a hint of rye. We baked it in a thick Dutch oven with lid on for steam retention and then lid off to finish.

  6. Maria H May 27, 2018 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    A friend gave me some of her sour dough starter and I was looking for a way to make it more sour. Came across your website and can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you!

  7. Jason Rikkers August 20, 2018 at 4:21 am - Reply

    HI Diane
    I dont have any starter. Will this work using the leaven above without the 18g of starter?

    Also please put more bread recipes up as I am really enjoying making them because they all turn out great and true as per description.


    • Wes August 21, 2018 at 12:11 am - Reply


      In this recipe the only leaving agent is the yeast in the sourdough starter. You cannot leave it out our you will have no rise at all! Starter is easy to come by. We like the starter you can purchase online in the USA from King Arthur Flour. It comes with excellent instructions on how to get it going and maintain the culture. There are many other sources as well. In the UK we recommend Bakery Bits. Good luck!

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