Monday, 9 December 2013

Artfully Disheveled Sourdough

Had my usual Saturday breakfast with No.1 Son on Saturday. The bloke who served me looked as if he'd spent at least 30 minutes in front of a mirror combing his hair in such a manner as it looked as it he hadn't combed his hair that morning. Why bother?

I have become an artisan baker. We've been baking our own bread for years now, but using commercially bought yeast and a bread maker. Lately I've become interested in being able to bake a sourdough and making my own sourdough starter with wild yeast.

I started the process about a week ago, using one of the web recipes to make a starter. The secret to a good starter is equal weights of flour and water, not equal volumes.

Here's my recipe:
  • 300 gm sourdough starter,
  • 500 gm strong white flour,
  • 200/300 ml water (use the lesser quantity and increase if the dough is too tight),
  • Table spoon sugar,
  • Pinch of salt.
Now for the preparation and baking:
  • Mix in the bread maker using the dough setting, adding a half eggcup of caraway seeds (if you like them) about 5 minutes before completion.
  • Remove from the bread maker, place in a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise for a couple of hours, or as long as it takes to double in size.
  • Knock back the dough (gently) to remove the air.
  • Place in a 1 kg baking tin and once more allow to rise to double its size (could take from anywhere between 2 hours to 6 hours).

Bake for 30/35 minutes at 220 degrees C.

Paul Hollywood would be proud of me!

My Christmas present list for Hayley includes a sack of wheat for planting in the field in spring, and a windmill to grind my flour.

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