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Sourdough Artisan Blend Bread

Sourdough Artisan Blend Bread

By: Cecilia Buyswheeler-Gunther (Read Bio)

Sourdough Artisan Blend Bread
If you slow down a little, you can make this flavorful, hearty sourdough loaf with Janie's Mill Artisan Blend Bread Flour. This recipe will give you two beautiful loaves.


  • 1,200 g Artisan Blend Bread Flour (100%)
  • 750 g Water (65% hydration)
  • 200 to 250 g Sourdough starter (or 20g of yeast, but use 8-10 g of yeast if you are going to rest the dough overnight in the fridge)
  • 18 g Salt


  1. Combine water and flour in a mixing bowl. Cover. Autolyse for two hours.
  2. Mix in between 200 and 250g sourdough starter. Cover and pre-ferment for one hour.
  3. Transfer dough from the bowl to the counter. Pat out, sprinkle salt on top, and then stipple the salt into the dough with wet fingers. Stretch and fold from four corners, then cover with bowl and pause for thirty minutes.
  4. Once the dough is relaxed, stretch and fold two more times over the next hour.
  5. Rest the dough on the counter, covered, for four hours. Divide and gently shape, place into bannetons, then either into the fridge for the night or allow to continue rising for another three or four hours.
  6. Bake at 500F in a Dutch Oven or Challenger Bread Pan for 25 minutes lid on and 25 minutes lid off. If you don’t have a Dutch Oven, make sure to introduce steam into the oven--either a pan of hot water or a hot pan with a few handfuls of ice thrown in just after you set the loaves in to bake.

Cecilia's Tips for Baking with Artisan Blend Bread Flour

  • Less water - I settled at 65%.
  • A longer autolyse - at least two hours.
  • Then add the yeast or levain and pre-ferment. (Use less yeast or starter if you are going to do a long retard in the refrigerator.) Let the dough rest for one hour. Then add the salt.
  •  Then start your folds - three over 90 minutes.
  • Let rise for 4 hours
  • Then into fridge for the night, or rise another 2 - 4 hours and bake.

In summary: Less water and more time between changes are the keys. I know high hydration breads are all the rage but this is an old fashioned flour blend - it is not going to give you a lofty open crumb with its 11.2% protein level. We should not try to fit this round old fashioned loaf through a modern square shaped hole. Let the flour slowly hydrate and bloom and you will have a wonderful loaf of hearty bread.

Other Tips

  • Be wary of too much bench flour on the last of your turns - be careful not to add un-fermented flour during the slow fermenting process.
  • Use wet hands for the folding.
  • When folding be very gentle. Remember the bran and its sharp edges. I stretch and fold on the counter and place a large bowl upside down on the dough between folds to keep out drafts.
  • I place the loaded banneton inside a large plastic bag with lots of air and fasten. The dough basically sits inside a balloon in the fridge.
  • When I bring the boule out of the fridge, I let it sit on the counter while the oven is heating - this is usually over an hour. Hopefully in that time you see some bubble movement or when you press gently into the dough with a floury finger there is a depression left behind. 

Background from Cecilia

I get a lot of phone calls about which flours to use, and the first question I ask my caller is: What kind of loaf would you like to bake? Then: What kind of bread do you like to eat? Because once I know the answers to these questions (hopefully they are the same answer), it is easier for me to recommend a flour that suits you. If someone answers that they want a hunk of hearty, crusty, country bread coated in fresh butter and eaten with a lovely pumpkin soup, then I say yes, Artisan Blend Bread Flour is the right one for you. If someone wants a whole wheat sandwich bread, or a bread without big airy holes, I also recommend Janie's Mill Artisan Blend Bread Flour.

If my caller answers that they are after a light, open crumb loaf, then I recommend Janie's Mill High Protein Bread Flour. Artisan Blend Bread Flour is not going to give you that open crumb loaf. It is a character-full flour. The Artisan Blend Bread Flour will give you a dark, flavorful, medium-crumb loaf, a deep, rich color, and not so many holes that you cannot butter it.

Let’s look at the stats of this flour

Extraction: Artisan Blend Bread Flour has a 90% extraction rate, which means that 10% of the larger particles, including the bran, has been sifted out, but there is still plenty of bran left in there.

Protein: Artisan Blend has 11.2% protein, so it is not too strong and will produce a heartier medium-crumb loaf.

Wheat Varietals: As the name suggests, this flour is a blend of two wheats: a Hard Red Spring Wheat (Glenn or Lang), which is very high in protein, and Warthog Wheat which is lower in protein. By carefully blending these two wheats into a single flour, our Head Miller and Mill Manager Jill created a medium-protein Artisan Blend Bread Flour that will give you a lovely, flavorful sandwich bread.

Posted on November 04 2021