This recipe takes a few days to come together, but Lord knows it’s delicious! And it’s VERY hands off; you’re mostly just leaving it to do it’s thing and develop the gluten on it’s own pretty much. The long fermentation time is great for your gut and makes for a very smooth dough.
So, why sourdough?
Firstly the ingredients…flour + water + salt = no nasties. Have you read the ingredients on an average loaf of bread lately? No thanks.
Secondly, the long fermentation period breaks down the phytic acid, effectively ‘unlocking’ the vitamins and minerals in the grains so that we can absorb them better. It also makes the bread more digestible and lower in sugar than any other bread I know of.
When I’m not making sourdough I tend to buy this one or this one from Waitrose. Be careful when buying sourdough from the shops – if it lists yeast as an ingredient it’s unlikely to be real sourdough!
- 90g bubbly sourdough starter
- 550ml water
- 650g strong white bread flour
- 75g rye flour – preferably organic
- 75g wholemeal flour – preferably organic
- 1tbsp unrefined sea salt
- Non-stick baking paper
- Large bowl
- Mix your starter with 50ml water
- Dissolve the salt in 100ml of hot water
- Put the salt water and all of the remaining water into a large mixing bowl with all of the flour and mix well. Add the starter + water and mix again really well.
- Cover and leave it for about 12 hours, every 3 hours or so lift the mixture to stretch and fold it a few times.
- Transfer to the fridge and leave it there for about 36 hours, pulling and stretching as before every 12 hours or so.
- Line your loaf tins or baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Shape the dough and transfer to your loaf tins/baking tray. Leave it at room temperature to prove for about 2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 240°c and place a large pan of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
- Cook your loaf for 1 hour until it’s a deep golden colour. Remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing.
A few tips:
- If, like me, you’re hopeless at free form bread making and you don’t have a non-toxic loaf tin – make a band of baking paper to surround your shaped loaf encouraging it to expand up instead of out.
- I like to cover my loaf with a tea towel while it cools to soften the crumb slightly.
- Don’t use Tesco non-stick baking paper – it sticks!