Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Sourdough bread

I have been experimenting with sourdough again. Slowly I am getting more confident. (Confident enough to post the results.)

This time I tried Laucke's German Grain. I have been using it to make 'normal' bread (with yeast) but never sourdough bread.

I took half of my starter from the fridge. Poured it into a bowl and fed it with 1 cup of strong flour and 1/2 cup of water. I weighed it at this stage (for my own reference) - 400g. Let rise.

Add 700g of the German Grain bread flour.

Then it got messy. I always muck up the water quantity. I added approx. 300ml of water. This was too much. So I had to add a bit more flour to make it less runny.

Oh, nearly forgot. I added approx. 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.

Anyway, once you are happy with the consistency, work your dough till it's lovely and smooth. I fold it into a ball* then put back in the bowl to rise for another hour or two.

Take out gently (on to lightly floured work surface), fold into a ball again. Let rise for another hour or two.

Take out gently. Divide into two halves. Fold into balls.
Line proving baskets (straw baskets) with tea towels. Flour generously so that the dough doesn't stick.
Let dough rise at a cooler temperature (17-19 C) overnight.

This is what they look like after a night of rising slowly and gently. (Yes, it's a boy and a girl!) ;)

Heat oven to highest temperature, with the trays inside.

Take out trays (at this stage I line them with baking paper), carefully tip bread dough out of basket on to tray and place into oven. After 5 minutes turn down heat to 220C. Then bake for another 20-25 minutes.

There is still room for improvement, but I am happy with the results.

*This may not make much sense if you haven't read Richard Bertinet's book "Dough", or his latest "Crust". He works his dough differently - instead of kneading he stretches and folds his dough. Then he folds it into a ball. Just take one side of the dough, fold it over, then another side and fold it over. May not be very clear if you have not seen it before - and I am no help as I can't describe it well.
The advantage of this method is that the bread is a lot lighter and fluffier. There is more air in the dough.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

congratulations on the boy and girl "Bread". Looks yummy.