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I woke up at 4:30 AM this morning (not unusual) to bake off my sourdough boules. The second rise was retarded overnight in the fridge (covered with plastic bags for protection) for 14 hours.

The basket was turned out into Dutch oven, scored, and returned to the oven at 230C for 20 minutes with the lid on. After 20 minutes, I pulled the lid and the boule was baked off for about another 25 minutes.

The house filled with the delicious aroma of sourdough bread. A good sign.

Bread is supposed to rest for about an hour after you pull it out of the oven, to allow the moisture to redistribute throughout the boule. It’s really difficult to wait that long. After 45 minutes I could not resist and cut off a warm, almost custardy slice of bread…

I love sourdough bread. I made this dough to the recipe in Tartine and knew it would be mildly sour. It is mildly sour in a good way and the retarded second rise lends a wonderfully complex flavour. I’m very pleased with how these boules turned out. I’ll definitely be baking these again.

Once the bread cools down, you can store it.

Never store your home baked bread in the fridge! Save that for industrial white bread.

Bread freezes well, but I haven’t yet had to worry about that, as we end up eating it fairly quickly in our house. That might change, as this recipe makes two loaves. I may have to start giving bread away to friends and neighbours… If you wish to freeze a loaf, let it cool to room temperature, wrap it well in aluminium foil, and place it in a large ziplock bag.

Here’s how I store my bread: I cover the cut end with a piece of aluminium foil (just the cut end, not the whole loaf) and place the bread in a paper bag. I have yet to have a loaf of mouldy bread.