Now that you’ve prepared your sourdough and it’s been resting in the refrigerator overnight – you can bake it the next day, or even a few days later. Here I show you how to prepare for your score, baking with the lid on, then off to finish it, slicing and what you’re looking for that makes a nice loaf of sourdough bread. The video is below!
Oven temperature and how long you leave the lid on can vary from baker to baker. I start with a pre-heated oven with the kettle inside – that’s been heating for at least 30 minutes. I put the bread in and usually turn the oven down to 475F and bake for 20 minutes, then take the lid off and finish for another 10 minutes or so. This is my go-to method for most of my loaves.
The baking time will vary according to how big your loaf is. Once in a while, I’ll experiment with leaving the oven at 500F to bake with the lid on, then turning it down to 450F with the lid off. If I’m trying out a new loaf (new percentages), then I’ll usually follow what the baker recommends. I live at elevation so my ovens tend to be hotter, and while I usually have to bake at a higher temp, sometimes my crust is thicker than I want so I have to tinker with temperature and times. Once the lid is off and I’m finishing up the bake, sometimes I’ll use steam (by putting water or ice cubes in a hot cake pan on the bottom shelf of the oven). The steam can create a more flaky crust.
Ovens can vary in temp and your loaf may need less or more time baking – it just depends. Until you get a little experience with it – a good rule of thumb for new bakers is to bake from a hot 500F oven, with a hot kettle (dutch oven) that’s been heating for about 30 minutes, put your bread in the oven with the lid on, turn the oven down to 475F and bake 20 minutes. Take the lid off and bake another 10 minutes. You’ll want to monitor the color of your bread pretty closely, it can go from too light to too dark very quickly. IF you feel you need to bake for a little while longer but your bread is already the color you want & you don’t want it darker – then tent it with foil.
Hope this video helps!