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Recipes

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread has a bit of a reputation. It is seen as a more complicated bake than a normal farmhouse loaf but we’re pleased to say many ‘sourdough myths’ are simply not true.

Sourdough does take time to make – but this is waiting time, not hands-on-time. In total you’re probably working the dough for 10 minutes max.

Sourdough has a higher hydration level than other bread, which makes it sticky and a little bit more challenging to handle. Please resist the urge to use extra flour to make it less sticky.

It is worth noting that we are using a “no-knead” recipe, which makes it very easy to make and considerably less work than the kneading technique.

We create the protein structure using a technique called autolyse. By mixing our ingredients and leaving them to hydrate fully for an hour, we allow the proteins in the flour to bind and strengthen. Then we further strengthen the dough using the stretch and fold technique.

Our recipe is know as the “1,2,3 recipe’ – super easy to remember!

This recipe will make a small round loaf. Double up the recipe for a larger loaf.

If you want to make your Sourdough Starter Ā follow this recipe.

Method

  • Mix the salt and flour in your mixing bowl. Add your sourdough starter and water.
  • Mix loosely with your fingers. don’t worry if it looks rough and lumpy
  • Leave for 1 hour to autolyse and hydrate fully. This stage will smooth the dough. Always cover your dough with cling film after you have finished working with it, so it doesn’t dry out.
  • After 1 hour, it’s time to start the stretch and fold process. With your hands in the bowl, pull the bottom of the dough and stretch it over the rest, folding it together. Do this 4 times, turning the bowl 90 degrees each time so all the mix gets stretched.
  • Leave the dough to relax for 30-45 minutes. Stretch and fold again. Repeat the relax and stretch and fold process a further 3 times.
  • Once the dough has stretched and folded 4 times, leave it to ferment in a covered bowl for 3 – 5 hours. This time allows for bulk fermentation to take place and the dough to strengthen further.
  • Once the bulk fermented is over, shape the dough into a boule or round shape. To do this, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Lay your dough out onto the surface and knock the air out of it. Then, bring your dough into a tight ball. Your dough scraper will come in handy to bring the dough together. The ball needs to be smooth and have tension at the surface to facilitate the ‘rise’.
  • When proving sourdough, it needs support. Either use a proving basket or a round bowl with a flour-dusted tea towel to line it.
  • Place your sourdough ball into your proving basket or bowl and tea towel, and cover with cling film. Leave it to prove if you want to bake it first thing in the morning.

To Bake

  • Preheat your oven to its highest temperature for 30 minutes, then turn down to 250c
  • While the oven is preheating, place your casserole dish or Dutch oven inside the oven to heat. Using a casserole dish with a lid keeps the moisture in, which allows the bread to rise as the crust doesn’t set straight away.
  • Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to line a chopping board. Carefully turn your dough out onto Ā the greaseproof paper, removing the flour-dusted tea towel carefully.
  • Remove the preheated casserole dish and lid from the oven. Be careful, it will be very hot. Open the lid and slide the greaseproof paper with the dough into the dish.
  • Score the top of the dough with your sharp knife, usually a 1-2 cm deep incision. The design doesn’t matter, but a large cross works well. Scoring the bread allows it to rise when it’s in the oven.
  • Close the lid and place the dish in the oven. Bake at 250c for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes remove the lid from the dish. Cook uncovered at 200c for a further 20 minutes.
  • Once your bread is cooked, carefully remove from the oven. Tap the bottom of the loaf – it should sound hollow, if not, place back to cook further.
  • Cool down completely on your rack – and enjoy!