85% Hydration Sourdough Bread


This one is probably one of the most hydrated bread I have ever tried. I did it multiple times just to be sure that I was doing it the right way. I did it with a mixer or by hand, I baked it in the conventional oven or in the wood fired oven. Every time, the result was similar. Although very hydrated, I was impressed about how easy it was to work with the dough despite the high hydration. The challenging part of this bread was the dough structure. With so much water inside, it was difficult to create a dough that was standing by itself. I still need to practice this part but so far I am not ashamed of this result either. For sure, there are parts that I can improve but for the moment I am happy with what came out of my hands.
The taste, texture and flavor of this bread were every time outstanding and they convinced me that this is a great recipe. Not for beginners, as requires a bit of practice, but for sure I'll do a similar hydration in the future.

Here it is also the video of the recipe:



  1. [Day 1, Saturday, 9:00] Scaling. Start by measuring the ingredients. 
  2. Immediately after,  Mix water + flours. Mix only the flours with water just until well combined. Do not knead at this stage, just ensure there is no unincorporated dry flour resting in the bowl and that's it. I used water at room temperature. The room temperature while doing this recipe was around 27ºC. If it is colder for you, use a bread proofer or find a warm spot in your house. Can be your oven with only the light on.
    Then, you'll just need to cover the bowl with a lid to avoid the dough to dry at its surface. Leave the dough for the autolyse phase for 2 hours.
  3. [Day 1, Saturday, 11:00] Sourdough starter. Add the starter over the dough and knead for 10 minutes with a standing mixer. If you do not have one, knead by hand. Then, leave the dough to relax for 30 minutes.
  4. [Day 1, Saturday, 11:30] Salt. Incorporate the salt and knead for 5 minutes more in the standing mixer. Then cover the bowl and let the dough to relax for 30 minutes.
  5. [Day 1, Saturday, 12:00] Divide and Stretch and Fold. Take the dough out of the bowl, put it on the slightly wet table board and divide it in 2. Stretch and fold each piece on the board and place them in squared glass bowls. Let them sit covered for 30 minutes.
  6. [Day 1, Saturday, 12:30] Lamination. Take each piece out of the bowls and do the lamination. Let the dough rest covered for 30 minutes. 
  7. [Day 1, Saturday, 13:00] Coil fold 1. Start now a set of 4 coil folds performed straight in the bowls. Do the first coil fold set in each glass bowl and let them sit for 30 minutes covered.
  8. [Day 1, Saturday, 13:30] Coil fold 2.  Do a second set of coil folds in the glass bowls and let them sit for 30 minutes covered
  9. [Day 1, Saturday, 14:00] Coil fold 3. Do a third set of coil folds for each dough and let them sit for 30 minutes covered.
  10. [Day 1, Saturday, 14:30] Coil fold 4. Do a fourth set of coil folds for each dough and let them sit for 30 minutes covered.
  11. [Day 1, Saturday, 15:30] Shape the loaves on the lightly floured board. Place the dough face down into well floured bannetons. Repeat the process for the second piece of dough. Let the covered bannetons still rest at room temperature for 1 hour before placing them in the fridge for 17 hours. This timing doesn't have to be exact. They can stay in the fridge between 14-20 hours without being overproved. Just be sure of the temperature inside your fridge to be around 4-5ºC.
  12. [Day 2, Sunday, 9:30] Score. Before scoring you need to heat the oven with a baking stone inside until it reaches 270ºC. This takes about 45 minutes for me. Under the stone, place some lava rocks in an old pan that will be use to create steam.
    Take the dough out from the fridge and reverse the banneton on a baking paper put on a peel. Score the bread with an incision of 1-2cm deep.  Immediately after, slide the loaves into the oven.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven at 270ºC on the hot stone for 15 minutes. For steaming, pour 150g of hot water on the hot lava rocks to create steam. Close the oven door as quickly as possible to capture the steam inside. Be careful at this step as the hot steam can cause burns. As a trick, I use a teapot to pour water far from the hand.
    No ventilator should be turned on in the oven in this first phase as you need to keep the steam inside the oven. After these 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 220ºC, turn on the ventilator of the oven to release the steam and continue to bake for 30 minutes.     
  14. [Day 2, Sunday, 10:15] Cool. The bread needs to cool for at least 2 hours until it reaches the room temperature. The cooking process continues slowly even after taking the bread out of the oven, so this is why it is important to not skip this step and to resist cutting it too early. If you can, of course...
  15. [Day 2, Sunday, 12:15] Cut. Now is the big moment to see the crumb after cutting. Can you resist tasting it? 

This is the preparation schema with all the steps indicated graphically:

Enjoy !


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