Artisan sourdough breads baked in Dutch oven

After successfully trying different techniques for baking sourdough bread in a conventional oven, I was curious to try baking bread in a Dutch oven. I adapted several variations from "Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza" by Ken Forkish.

Mainly, I followed Ken's techniques for proofing and Dutch oven baking stages (Demonstrations available on his YouTube Channel I was very happy to consistently achieve crusty, flavorful, and light textured sourdough breads with different combinations of flour, and hydration levels (55%-85%). I tried combinations of buckwheat, 100% whole wheat, rye, and unbleached all purpose organic flours.

I did not score the bread and greatly enjoyed discovering natural breaks on the bread after baking.
White whole wheat sourdough bread
White whole wheat flour based Sourdough Bread

Sourdough dutch oven bread
Whole wheat and buckwheat flour Sourdough Bread
Proofing stage with air pockets seen on the surface


Sourdough buckwheat bread 

450 grams Unbleached All purpose flour (can be replaced by unbleached Bread Flour, White whole wheat flour)

50 grams Organic buckwheat flour
400 grams Water, lukewarm
150 grams Liquid levain / sourdough starter
1 teaspoon Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Flaxseeds, freshly ground for nutty flavor (optional)
1 tablespoon liquid whey scooped from top of the homemade yogurt (optional)

This dough hydration level is 80% (400 grams Water / 500 grams Flour)

Levain - Refresh levain 2 - 3 hours prior to preparing to mix the final bread dough. I bake bread once a week and keep sourdough in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process. I take the levain out from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour, then refresh it with new flour and water. Refreshed levain is ready to use in 1 - 2 hours.

Final dough -  In a large container (I use 4-quart Pyrex glass bowl) add 450 grams all purpose flour, 50 grams of buckwheat flour, ground flaxseeds and 400 grams of water. Mix lightly to hydrate flour and let it rest for 15 - 30 minutes. Then sprinkle on top 1 teaspoon of salt, add levain and 1 tablespoon of whey (optional). Mix, preferably, by hand or stand mixer with dough hook for about 5 minutes. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes. Fold the dough 2 - 3 times, within an hour.

Fermentation and baking - Bulk fermentation will take 3 - 4 hours at room temperature or can be delayed by slow fermentation overnight in the refrigerator. After doubling in size, divide dough into two pieces and place in a basket to proof for an hour. In the meantime, place Dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven 450F (230C). After an hour of proofing, place proofed loaf on a parchment paper with seam side up.

Carefully remove Dutch oven from the oven and place the loaf in the Dutch oven by holding the sides of parchment paper. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes carefully remove the lid and let the loaf to brown for another 20 minutes. Remove and let it cool on a cooling rack before cutting. Bake the second loaf or place it in the refrigerator to slow the fermentation and bake it later.

Happy baking!