Tip #1: Da Boiz are the the main thing. A good, sour, bubbly starter is 75% of a killer loaf, and since this is a no-knead type of thing, they do 90% of the work. Treat your starter well, and you will have Straight Killer Sourdough every time.
Tip #2: The second key is the consistency and wetness of the dough. Too dry and it doesn’t rise and won’t pop in the oven. Too wet; it rises nicely, but it will spread out in the pan and also not pop up. It will be tasty, and full of bigger holes, but it will be sorta flat, kinda like a ciabatta.
Tip #3: The easiest way to get the killer crust and the right moisture content is to use a Dutch oven. The lid keeps the moisture in and gives the loaf a beautiful texture and mouth feel. This one is cheap and killer on Amazon, and if you’re Prime, it ships free!
Tip #4: Equipment. Besides the Dutch oven, I would go to the Dollah Store and get:
- a couple of silicone mixing spoons
- a couple of small silicone spatulas
- a ring of measuring spoons
- a couple of measuring cups ( 1-4 cup size)
- the salt
- maybe even the small steel mixing bowls. My local Dollah Store SOMETIMES has the small size that is big enough for the 1-lb loaf. Otherwise, get a three-pack from Amazon:
You’ll also need a good pair of oven mitts. 500 degrees is waaay hawt!
Tip #5: Please use unbleached flour. All-purpose or bread flour is groovy; bread flour gives a slightly denser loaf, but please don’t use the COSTCO or Gold Medal bleached stuff. Trader Joe’s has a 5lb bag of unbleached AP for $2.99.