Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sourdough bread

Its time! I have been feeding my starter religiously for a week and it is bubbling away happily.

Still its a little while longer before I can enjoy the fruits of my labour. I have to start making my bread the day before I want it!

Sourdough loaf

Firstly make your sponge the day before you want your bread or even two days before, depending at what time of day you want to eat your bread!

Take 100ml of your starter, add 250g of flour and 275ml of warm water. Mix well with your hands, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight. In the morning it should be sticky and very bubbly.
You can add whatever bread flour you like. To make my sponge I added 100g wholemeal and 150g white bread flour. 

The next morning it is time to make bread! Add 300g flour (I used 200g white, 100g spelt) 10g fine sea salt and 1tbsp oil (I used groundnut ). Mix with your hands until everything is combined, turn out onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm.

Leave to rise. This step will take longer than other bread. If you want your bread in the evening make  the dough, as outlined above ,in the morning and come back to it early evening. If, like me you want your bread at lunch, leave your sponge until the evening before making the dough. Make the dough, as above, and leave overnight to rise. 

Once the dough has risen, mine got HUGE, turn onto a floured surface and knock it back. Place the dough into a proving basket, or line a bowl with a floured tea towel instead, and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise for ~2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250C/230C FAN. Put a baking tray in the oven to get hot. Put a roasting tin with boiling water in at the bottom of the oven to create a humid atmosphere.

Take the baking tray out of the oven and sprinkle it with flour, and tip the dough onto the tray. Slash the top of the dough with a serrated knife. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature by 50C and continue baking for 20-25 minutes. 

When ready the dough should have a deeply coloured crust and sound hollow when tapped underneath. 

Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting into the bread.

The smell of this bread as it cooks is amazing. The dough has a very distinct flavour and was worth the wait!

It was a perfect accompaniment to soup and I cannot wait to try it toasted.

I am going to experiment with a flavoured version in the week. I will also let you know if my method of storing the starter was successful.


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