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Ancient Durum Sourdough Bread

Ancient Durum Sourdough Bread

By: Terra Brockman (Read Bio)

Ancient Durum Sourdough Bread

The warm, golden hue and fresh nutty aroma of Janie's Mill 100% extraction Durum Flour gives this bread a beautiful color and rich flavor.  This recipe blends the very high protein Durum Flour with a medium-high protein bread flour (Artisan Blend) and our lower protein All-Purpose Flour. Feel free to experiment with different flours, and to vary the proportions. Even 1/3 Durum will add a golden glow and great flavor to your next loaf!  
Yield: 2 boules


for Levain
  • 20g ripe sourdough starter (If you don't have a starter, here are instructions for how to make one.)
  • 160g water
  • 160 g Durum flour
  • for Main dough 
    • 300g active levain (made from your sourdough starter, see above) 
    • 320g Durum Flour
    • 250g Artisan Blend Flour
    • 250g All-Purpose Flour
    • 18g salt 
    • 680g water (+20g more if needed -- Durum and other 100% extraction flours are thirsty, and you may go up to 90% hydration) 


    • Large mixing bowl
    • 2 bannetons or towel-lined mixing bowls
    • Dutch oven or other heavy pot or pan
    • Lame or a sharp knife for scoring


          1. Make levain the night before (around 9 or 10pm): Add starter to the water and whisk. Then add flour, mix well with a whisk or your hands until no dry flour remains. Cover loosely and let sit at room temperature (ideally 74-78F) until it doubles or, even better, triples in volume (8-10 hours). 
          2. Autolyse (next day, around 8 am): Add water to flour and let sit for 1 hour.
          3. Dissolve salt in 20g water, and place in a shallow well in the  autolysed dough.
          4. Mixing: Measure out 300g of active levain. Add to the autolysed dough and gently incorporate the salt water and levain into the dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
          5. Bulk Fermentation: Perform two sets of gentle coil folds, letting the dough rest for 30 minutes after each. 
          6. Perform two more sets of coil folds, letting the dough rest 1 hour after each.  It should become soft, silky, and very extensible.
          7. The dough will have increased at least 50% in volume, and show clear signs of fermentation. If not, do another coil fold and let ferment another 30 minutes. 
          8. SHAPING:  Generously sprinkle counter top with whole wheat flour, and gently dump the dough onto the counter. Use a dough scraper to cut in half.
          9. Shape each half into a loaf, as desired. For round boules, pull each of the four edges of the dough to the center, and then flip it over so the seams are on the countertop. Gently round the dough with your hands until the skin is taut. 
          10. PROOFING: Transfer the shaped loaves into your generously floured proofing baskets, seam side up, and let rest for at least 90 minutes, and up to 4 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. (You may also let rise overnight in the refrigerator.)
          11. Preheat a Dutch oven at 500F for the last hour of the rising time. Carefully remove preheated Dutch oven and gently turn a boule into the pan seam side down.
          12. Scoring:  Score in a simple X, or as you like.
          13. Baking: Cover and bake for 20 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid, lower the temperature to 450F, and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes until the crust is a deep golden brown. The internal temperature should be around 205F.
          14. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool and repeat with the second loaf.

    Baker's Notes

    Durum Flour has a very high protein level (16%) so you may combine it with any of your favorite medium or low protein flours such as Einkorn, Black Emmer, Spelt, or All Purpose. 

    Durum Flour is also very thirsty, and depending on the proportion you use, you may go up to 90% hydration. 

    Posted on September 05 2022