We all bake for different reasons. I find it is incredibly satisfying to bake bread; when life is busy and slightly chaotic, seeing the process through from water and flour to a fragrant warm loaf somehow restores the balance of things in a small but reassuring way.
Another day, another sourdough loaf to try…. I absolutely love bread, and keep trying new variations. With autumn arriving in Rome, I can bake without absolutely melting in the kitchen, which is lovely. This loaf with poppyseeds was inspired by Bewitching Kitchen’s Black Sesame Sourdough, which looked so delicious. She also shares some great advice about reviving your sourdough starter, which was very helpful. My sourdough starter is made from coarse rye, 100% hydration, and it is quite robust. It lives in the fridge much of the time in a small jar, as I usually bake on the weekend, and seems to do well.
Sourdough loaf with poppyseeds
100 g rye sourdough starter, 100% hydration
345 g water
45 g semolina flour
400 g plain flour (00)
10 g poppyseeds
10 g salt
Stir the sourdough starter with the water. Add the flours and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. After this initial rest, add the salt and the poppyseeds. Mix well. Add more flour or water if you think the dough needs it.
Cover the bowl and let rise for about a couple hours at room temperature. Fold the dough a few times (just in the bowl, using a spoon or spatula). You will feel the dough becoming more elastic and responsive, and it will increase nicely in volume. In the evening, move the dough to a floured banneton and cover it with plastic (a hotel shower cap works well), and put it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning: heat your oven to 225C, with a cast iron pot. When it is properly hot (or after at least 20 minutes), take the pot out carefully. Invert the dough onto a piece of baking paper, slash the dough, and put the bread in the pot. Bake at 225C for twenty minutes with the lid on, then 25-30 minutes more with the lid off, until the bread looks done and the base of the bread sounds hollow if you tap it. About 45 minutes in all, depending on your oven. Cool before slicing.
Notes: the poppyseeds kept a bit of crunch, and the bread had good flavour. I often bake early on Saturdays, so the timing here worked well for me. However, you could start earlier and let it rise at room temperature for some hours to bake the same day if that suits you better (or if the fridge is too full to wedge the dough in… That does happen.) I have been testing different starter/flour/water ratios, so these bread posts are a useful reminder of what seemed to work.