Sourdough. Re-visited

Hello Dear Reader,

I thought I would re-visit making and baking sourdough bread. I have been making it a lot lately and really enjoy the flavour and texture of this beautiful bread. It always makes me smile to think that there really is only 3 ingredients in the sourdough-flour, water and salt.

Beautiful sourdough bread

The sourdough starter itself is just flour, water and time. Once you have a stable and dependable starter it is just a matter of taking the starter out of the fridge, giving it a feed of 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water to wake it up, once it has proved (risen and bubbly) add it to bread flour, water and salt, give it a good knead with your hands to make sure it is all incorporated well. And then, let it do its thing for anywhere between 12 and 24 hours, be patient and let it reach its full potential.

The main thing you need to be aware of is that the oven can wait but the sourdough won't, that means, have your oven preheated well and truly before you need it. If you are waiting for the oven to be up to speed, the sourdough will continue to expand and spread. You don't want to end up with a flat loaf.

Proved and bubbly sourdough starter after it has had a feed 

Measure out 500 grams of bread flour 

10 grams of salt 

150 grams of bubbly starter 

And 300 grams of tepid, filtered water 

All sourdough bread ingredients in the bowl 

Mix well until all incorporated. Your hands are best for this process 

Continue until all dry flour is incorporated 

Clean up the side of the bowl with a spatula

Let the sourdough prove for as long as needed. 
In this cold weather I am finding it needs up to 24 hours

The Sourdough will almost double in volume, when it is ready. The texture is bouncy and sticky 
and as you scrap and pour the sourdough out on to the floured worktop it will look string-y

Scrape sourdough onto well floured worktop 

Lightly flour top of sourdough

Using a flat, flexible bread scraper, flip one side of sourdough into the middle

Then the other

Now roll up sourdough, into a log shape, starting at the narrow end. Immediately put onto a square of non stick baking paper or silicon paper 

Slice top of sourdough in a design that pleases you and put into a heavy cast-iron pot with lid 

Using a pastry brush, brush sourdough in water. Put the lid on the pot and put into a preheated oven at 250 C. Immediately turn heat down to 230 C and bake for 20 minutes, remove lid and continue baking for 30 minutes or until you are happy with the colour

Golden and gorgeous Sourdough, ready to be slathered with butter

So, tell me, do you make sourdough? Any tips or tricks that you would like to share? I would love to hear from you. 

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