21 June, 2015
I consider it a great adventure to make sourdough loaves. Using natural east to leaven a bread is both exciting and fun. I love the texture and the flavour. And you can do so many experiments with these sorts of breads.
I have noticed, that measurements don’t quite work when it comes to sourdough. The reason being, the starter, which can vary in type, texture, hydration and activity. So it’s always good to kneed with hand so you feel the dough and make adjustments.
I believe that bread making needs a lot of practice and with time it becomes second nature.
- 1 cups starter (150g-200g)
- 500g flour
- 200g water (approx.)
- 15g oil
- 10g salt
- Extra flour for dusting
- To make the starter; Mix two tablespoons of sourdough starter with 1 cup hydrated flour and leave overnight in a warm place. (Find starter under Basic Recipes)
- In a large bowl mix together salt and flour.
- Mix in the starter, oil and half of the water and start to fold.
- Keep adding water until a dough is formed.
- Dough can be sticky but that’s normal. Use flour dusting to minimize sticking.
- Lift and fold the several times until it forms in to a much manageable smooth dough. You can use your hands or a spatula to do this.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place until doubled in size. This can take anywhere from 3 to 10 hours, depending on room temperature and starter strength.I usually keep mine in a warm oven (30 C) to speed this up.
- Take the dough out on to a floured surface, divide and make two or three small Cobs.
- Shaping will degas the dough, so it’s not necessary to punch down as in normal breads.
- Once shaped, place dough face down in proving containers. I use a small bowl lined with a tea towel. Dust towel with flour to stop dough sticking.
- Let it sit for about 2 hours. It should start to rise again and look fuller.
- Meanwhile heat the oven to 230 Celsius approx. If using a baking stone, place the stone in.
- Sprinkle semolina on the tray or stone and unmould the loaf.
- Sprinkle flour on top. Score the top if you like.
- Place in the oven. Spay some water using a spray bottle and close the door. Reduce temperature to 200 °C.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until loaf is light and sound hollow when tapped.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Spraying water for the first few seconds in the oven gives a darker, crispier crust to the loaf. This can be done by pouring a little boiling water to a pan placed at the bottom of the oven.