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How to Bake Your Sourdough Bread

In this six-part series called “Follow the Sourdough,” Chef John shows you how to make sourdough bread, from beginning to end. Last time, you saw how to knead your dough. Now it’s time to bake the loaf. Time to punch out the dough, roll it into a loaf, let it rise again, and bake it in the oven. This is it! You’ve come a long way, baby. You’ll see tips and tricks to make sure your loaf comes out of the oven beautifully golden brown with a crispy crust. Congratulations on baking sourdough bread from scratch! Did you miss the previous episode? Check out How to Knead Your Sourdough Bread. Or start at the very beginning with How to Make San Francisco Sourdough Starter, and get ready for a wild ride!

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  • Kathy

The one thing you didn't cover was that you would want to feed your sponge again and keep it ready, wouldn't you? You said to put the leftover in the refrigerator, but you'd run out very quickly if you didn't feed it and keep it growing. Plus, I think I remember that in a week, if you haven't used it, you'd want to discard some and feed again.

  • Cast Iron Cook

When the sponge is done how do I store it if I'm not ready to bake some bread? How long will it keep in the fridge?

  • danindenver

I found this video series incredibly, painstakingly, frustratingly, hard to follow, but I have used ideas from one of Chef John's recipes (a printed one) to bash together a recipe for my first ever loaf of bread, so I was willing to try and make something of this. Probably won't do it again, though. I was lucky that I have been making beer for a couple of years, so I had some feel for working with yeast. One night, I wanted to use my leftover yeast, instead of always throwing it out (can't compost it in the winter). My bread was great for a complete novice. BTW, counterintuitively, the water in the pan is to make the crust hard. If your crust is too hard, cut back on the humidity.