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Blister Crust Formula – Potato Water Sourdough

Thank you for the great response to the Blister Crust Series on YouTube. I will embed it here:

Also I was asked to post the formula for those who viewed the videos but wanted a place to refer to the formula for reference or print out. So here you go:
Click here to for easy print out instructions:Potato Water Sourdough Print Version. This will download to your computer, open it and print it out. It is a pdf document.

Potato Water Sourdough – Blister Crust Series

The beautiful color, tender crumb and superb flavor of this loaf are a result of the potato water which is obtained from water in which potatoes have been boiled. I like to cut the potatoes into small pieces, boil them gently and allow them to start falling apart before straining them and using the water. I used about 450-500 grams of chunked potatoes boiled (and cooled) in about 1 kilogram of water. If you end up with not enough potato water, don’t panic, just add some extra plain water.
Ingredients you will need:

  • 300g active well fed starter @ 100%
  • 700g potato water (water from boiled potatoes)(reserve 100g of this water in another bowl)
  • 1100g flour
  • 25g sea salt with no additives
  • Rice Flour for dusting

This formula uses the double hydration method*. For double hydration, you hold out part of the liquid and after the dough has autolysed, you slowly add the liquid to the dough to make wetter or higher hydration dough. In this case we will add the salt to the reserved liquid so as to help incorporate it into the dough.

To make Potato Water Sourdough: 
1. – To your mixing bowl or dough trough, add :

  • 300g levain at 100% hydration
  • 600g potato water (regular water can be substituted)
  • 1100g all purpose flour or a mixture of all purpose and bread flour

2. – Mix the ingredients together to form a thick, low hydration dough. Cover the dough and allow it to autolyse (sit undisturbed) at room temperature for two hours (or try a warm bulk ferment at 76-80F in your proofing box).

3. – During autolyse, fold the dough one time after an hour.
4. – After autolyse, to a small bowl mix together:

  • 100g potato water
  • 25g fine sea salt

5. – Add the water/salt mixture to the autolysed dough all at once but don’t expect to incorporate all of it right away.

6. – Fold the dough, incorporating some of the liquid.

7. – Slowly incorporate the salt/potato water liquid over the next three to four hours by folding each hour while trying to incorporate the extra water. It will take time, but when the dough is done fermenting, it will be incorporated**.

8. – After your final fold, let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

9. – Then divide it into three pieces weighing approximately 700 grams each.

10. – Do a first shaping of your loaves and let them bench rest for 15-20 minutes.

11. – Then do a final shape and place the dough into the floured (use rice flour for more blisters) bannetons.

12. – Cover the dough and bannetons with a plastic bag and retard in the refrigerator overnight.

13. – Next morning take the dough out of the refrigerator one by one, staggered 30 minutes apart.

14. – Final proof the dough at room temperature or in your proofing box at 76-80F. It can take 2 – 4 hours or more to proof.

Remember to preheat your oven at 500F for an hour before baking to preheat your baking stone. 

15. – When done proofing, brush off the rice flour, score the dough, spray the top heavily with water and bake (using the roasting pan as a cover) at 450F degrees(I heat the oven to 500F and turn it down for the actual bake).

16. – Bake for ten minutes with the roasting pan lid on.

17. – Then remove the lid allowing the dough to brown and crisp.

18. – Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until the bread obtains the wonderful color and crispy crust you prefer. Cool your bread on a grate.

19. – Put the roasting lid back into the oven and turn the oven up to 500F to preheat for the next loaf.

Repeat from # 15 for the remaining loaves. 
*The dough is at 60% hydration before the salt potato water is incorporated and the gluten strands will bond tightly. After the salt potato water is incorporated, the dough will be at 68% hydration. Hence the double hydration.
**If you try to incorporate all of the liquid at once, you will tear the gluten up more than the gentle patient way of taking your time.

Result: 3- 700 gram loaves @ 68% hydration and very happy family and friends. 🙂


Potato Water Sourdough with all of the dusting rice flour brushed off, as in the videos:


Potato Water Sourdough using white flour for dusting and not brushing it all off: 

potatodec1 potato5_22


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  1. rosebud rosebud
    March 17, 2015    

    I made this bread last week and hubby said how do you ever expect me to eat store bought bread again. Enough said! Thanks for all you are doing and for helping us to learn and make wonderful sourdough bread. Still need to work on making blisters and making bread sing.

  2. March 14, 2015    

    Wow, so many questions! You need to join my group on Facebook called Perfect Sourdough. Would love to have you join us. 🙂 So many bakers to get advice from.

  3. March 10, 2015    

    Greetings and thank you so much for this wonderful series and generous sharing of info! I have followed your instructions on this recipe and have a couple questions:

    * What qualities are you looking for in the dough to know it’s time to divide & bench rest?

    *Why do you proof again (and for so long) after the refrigerator proofing/fermenting?

    * What qualities are you looking for in the dough to know it is fully proofed and ready to bake?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  4. Elan Elan
    March 4, 2015    

    Thanks so much for the brilliant series, I love your blog. Tried to make this bread, and it came out amazing, but missing the big holes I was hoping for; you can see how it turned out here https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/8purzcl8qfrkxal/2015-03-04%20at%2012.24%20PM.png?dl=0

    Any advice?

    Thanks 🙂

    • March 14, 2015    

      It looks pretty good to me, maybe bake longer at a higher temperature though. Looks yummy!

  5. Ulla Schou Ulla Schou
    February 11, 2015    

    I am trying now, so exited to se the result!

    • March 14, 2015    

      Thanks Ulla, I would love to see a picture of your bread. Can you post it on Facebook on the group, “Perfect Sourdough?”

    • March 14, 2015    

      I hope your bake turned out great! I am sure it did!

  6. elvira elvira
    February 8, 2015    

    I’m so happy you came back!!
    I tried this recipe, fantastic!

    • February 8, 2015    

      Thank you Elvira, it’s nice to be back and to get your feedback!

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