Motherdough White Loaves

Motherdough White Loaf
Motherdough White Loaf

I have been working with a Motherdough starter at 70% hydration. A Motherdough starter is any starter that you bring to 70% (or any lower hydration from 50 – 80 %) hydration and keep refrigerated for at least 2 – 3 days until use.

The long cold fermentation brings a  new dimension to your sourdough baking. The crust of a bread made with Motherdough is usually reddish brown, the crumb is soft and the taste is somewhat mild, although you can use techniques to have a more tangy flavor. The long ferment also helps bring out a blistery crust. If you want to make some Motherdough:


70 % hydration dough

(makes 2 pound 1.0 ounces of Motherdough)

Stir together

  • 9 oz 166% hydration starter (about one cup) (166% hydration is wet fermented starter made using 1 cup flour and 1 cup water)
  • 8 oz water (one cup)
  • 16.0 oz flour

Let Motherdough set out at room temperature for about four hours. Then refrigerate and let ferment for two or three days. Keep refrigerated and use for baking.

If your running low on motherdough, feed with:

  • 7 oz water
  • 10 oz flour

Motherdough White Loaves
Motherdough White Loaves

Motherdough starter is any starter that you bring to 70% (or any lower hydration from 50 – 80 %) hydration After you motherdough has been fermenting in the refrigerator for about 2 – 3 days, use it to make Motherdough White Loaf:

At 1:00 pm Combine in your mixer:

  • 18 oz cold motherdough at 70% hydration
  • 31 oz of cool water
  • 48 oz of bread flour (use half AP flour and half bread flour)

Break off the motherdough in chunks and add to your mixing bowl. Next add the water and flour. Mix on medium speed until just incorporated. Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes. Next mix in the salt:

  • 1.2 oz salt use kosher, sea salt or canning salt with no chemicals in it

Mix on low speed for another minute. Then allow the dough to ferment for six hours . You can leave the dough in the mixer and stir it down every couple of hours, or put it into a folding trough and fold every two hours. When the six hours is up refrigerate the dough overnight, make sure the container is lightly covered.

Next morning take out the dough and warm up for two hours. Then shape the loaves and place into bannetons or lined baskets. I usually shape one loaf, keep the rest of the dough covered, then come back after 30 minutes and shape another loaf, etc. This staggers the loaves so they don’t all have to be baked at the same time.

The dough now needs to final proof. It will need to proof for two to three hours. When the first loaf is halfway proofed, preheat the oven with the baking stone to 425 degrees F. When there is ten minutes until the first loaf goes into the oven, put in a roasting lid to preheat.

When your first loaf is proofed and ready to bake,  place your dough on a flat baking tray or peel with enough semolina flour to keep it from sticking, slash the dough , quickly take out the roasting lid (careful it’s hot)and place your dough top of the hot baking stone.

Spray water all over the dough with a spray water bottle, place the hot roasting lid over the dough, close the oven door and bake for 16 minutes. After the 16 minutes is up, take off the roasting lid (careful, it’s even hotter this time with the steam) and then bake for another 16 minutes.

Take out your exquisitely beautiful loaf and cool on a rack. Repeat directions for the other loaves. This recipe makes a dough that is 65.6 % hydration and weighs about 6 lbs 2.2 oz. So you can make three 2 lb loaves.


Teresa L Greenway - Sourdough bread baker, author, teacher, entrepreneur. Join my baking classes at:

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