Sourdough Bread

Starter and sponge ready.

Starter and sponge ready.

Last year I read an article on making Sourdough bread and in a fit of excitement poured flour and water into a jar and waited… and then got a bit confused about what to do next… and put it into the fridge until it started to smell and then threw it away. This time I was going to get it right.
A week before I was going to make my bread I put 1 cup of rye flour in a jar with 1 cup of water. The next day I poured some out and added 1/4 cup of flour and water and repeated for the next 5 days. By this time my starter was smelling yeasty and slightly boozy. This was a sign that the starter had worked and that I had captured my wild yeast.
The day before making the bread I created a sponge by adding 150ml of the starter in a bowl with 250g of strong white bread flour and 275ml of warm water before giving it a good stir, covered the bowl and leaving it over night.
By the next morning in was bubbly and smelling lovely. I added 300g of flour, 10g of salt and a good glug of oil and mixed it all together well. Then I left it for 10 minutes before turning onto the work surface to kneed for 10 minutes or so.
When it was good and elastic I put it back in the bowl, covered it and left it for a few hours to rise. I had read that I shouldn’t expect sourdough to rise as much as conventionaly yeasted bread but this trembled in size pretty quickly.
I knocked it back, kneeded it again and then lined a bowl with oiled paper before putting it in for its final prove. Sourdough loses its shape more easily than others bread so it needs to be shaped in a bowl.
When it was ready I put a roasting tin in the bottom of the over and a baking sheet on the middle shelf and heated the over to 220oC. When it was hot it was simply a matter of turning the sourdough onto the baking sheet, peeling off the paper and sliding it into the over. A litre of boiling water went into the roasting tin to create some steam to help the crust. 30 minutes later it was ready to come out onto a cooling rack.

Out the oven and already 'tested'.

Out the oven and already ‘tested’.

Sourdough has a delcious chewy texture and loose crumb structure. It makes amazing toast and lasts a few days wrapped in a paper bag. Although it seems like a bit of work it is worth it and once the starter is made you can just top it up with more flour and water and put it in the fridge. The day before you want to make your sponge take it out of the fridge and feed it and let it get to room temperature. Soon you will be eating sourdough every week. I have another one rising as I type.

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4 thoughts on “Sourdough Bread

  1. Pingback: Sourdough Bread | Glenn62's Blog

  2. Why is there so much salt in sourdough bread? I make yeasted bread in my bread maker and it uses half this amount. I have tried shop bought sourdough and have found it salty. I also use low sodium salt. Great blog by the way!

    • 10g of salt doesn’t sound like all that much in a week’s worth of bread. Salt is used in home baking to control the rise as it inhibits the yeast. It also gives the bread flavour. You can always adjust the amount to your taste 🙂

  3. Pingback: Just A Little Celebration of Sourdough | Whipped-Stitch Witchery

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