Sourdough requires long hours of fermentation and therefore I don’t bake them often. This holiday, I managed to bake them twice, of which, I did not get to taste one of the bakes. The long hours of fermentation allows the loaf to develop it’s flavour fully and it’s definitely well worth the effort. For shorter time and easier bake, you can consider the baguette. Oh and for these bakes, I tried to score the breads differently. My favourite being the leaves design. Here’s a sourdough recipe.
(Makes 2 round loaves)
- 765g strong bread flour
- 465g white starter
- 400 ml water
- 20g salt (I dissolved the salt in a little of the 400 ml of water to allow ease of mixing into dough after the 20 minutes rest)
- Place the starter, flour and water in the bowl of an electric mixer and use a hook attachment to combine at slow speed first, before turning up the speed and mix till a rough dough is formed (about 4 minutes at slow speed and 3 minutes at medium to fast speed).
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the salt solution over the dough and mix the dough at slow speed first for about 1 minute and then at medium to fast speed for about 6 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Test of the dough is ready by taking a small piece of the dough and stretch till it is transparent enough to read a paper through the dough. If the dough tears easily, it needs more kneading.
- Allow the dough to rest in a lightly oiled bowl for about an hour, covered in cling wrap.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock the dough back by pressing it into a rough rectangle and then folding a third of the dough into itself and repeated, eventually forming another rectangle with three folds. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat.
- Place the dough back into the oiled bowl and rest for another hour.
- Shape the dough by turning it out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into rounds or longs, and place the loaf onto a cane basket or a tray lined with baking paper, seam side down.
- Place the loaf in the fridge, loosely covered with a plastic bag, to ferment for about 8 to 12 hours.
- Preheat the oven at the highest temperature.
- Remove loaf from the fridge and allow to prove again. The prove is complete if the loaf has grown in size by two-thirds and if the loaf springs back quickly when you push into them lightly with your fingers.
- Score the loaf (you can watch some videos for more fanciful scoring) and place them in the preheated oven.
- Spray the oven with water and bake for 20 minutes before turning the tray around baking for another 20 minutes. Watch the loaf towards to the end of the bake and if it is browning too much, lower the oven temperature by to about 200 degrees.
- Once baked, leave to cool completely before cutting into it.
Then, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.