Tonight we’re seeing a friend for dinner, and I’m bringing bread. This recipe is from Stonesoup: rustic sourdough: the secret to making amazing bread at home [5 ingredients | simple baking]. Her recipes are simple and reliable, highly recommended reading. The sourdough article also has an explanatory video. It is a very robust recipe that works very well.
Stonesoup: rustic homemade sourdough
325g bread flour (I used half plain, half wholewheat)
200g active sourdough starter, 100%
1 tsp salt
This makes 1 loaf, I doubled it as we neded two loaves. Combine flour, starter, water and salt and stir together. Leave overnight: I left the dough two hours room temperature, folding a couple times, then left the dough overnight in the fridge, under cover.
The next morning, the dough will be quite elastic and wet. Do not worry, this helps the rise when baking. Flour the counter, and fold the dough over itself a few times to make a nice round shape. Place in floured banneton (or a bowl with baking paper) to rise under cover for a couple hours.
Heat your oven to 250C, and place a cast iron pot with lid in the oven to heat up, for at least 20 minutes. It needs to be really hot.
When ready to bake, carefully take the pot out of the oven. Some dust the pot with flour or semolina to avoid the bread sticking, but after having bread burned into the pot, I use baking paper. Invert the banneton onto a small sheet of baking paper, and quickly lift it by holding the corners of the baking paper into the hot pot. It will spread. Slash the top with a knife or kitchen scissors.
Bake at 250C with lid for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake ten minutes more, until it looks golden. This depends on your oven. If in doubt, take the loaf out, tap in on base: does it sound hollow? If so, it’s done. Take out, cool on rack.
Note: If you don’t have a pot, a shallow dish will do, but something with edges is helpful as this dough is quite loose, and will otherwise spread out. We know what that looks like! If baking without a pot, put a a baking tray at the bottom of the oven to heat up, so you can pour in a little water or icecubes when the dough goes in, just to create steam in the oven when baking. I use a really old baking tin for this. Just leave it there during the baking.
I aways wondered if I was losing spring when inverting dough from banneton to the iron pot. The dough slumps down and deflates a bit, which can look unpromising. This time I inverted the dough from the banneton, and lifted over dough number two rising in the plastic bowl (without inverting). No difference for height in the final loaves, which is interesting. However, this dough is quite stretchy, with a lot of give. A drier dough might not give the same result.