Saturday sourdough loaf

Sourdough loaf

Baking is a precise art. Being a bit of a control freak, that may be why I like it so much. When life seems chaotic, a spot of cake baking always helps. Bread baking is therapeutic as well, and it feels safer with a recipe. However, recipes are no guarantee, especially when flours vary, so I’ve been pushing my bread comfort zones and playing with ratios in my sourdough baking: more water, more starter, different flours, just learning to trust my instinct of when the dough feels right. They never turn out quite the same, but when the house smells of fresh bread, and another loaf turns out well, it is a reassuring small achievement and an encouragement to keep baking.

Saturday sourdough loaf, with variations

100 grammes mature sourdough starter (100% hydration)
350 grammes water
450 grammes flour (100 grammes wholewheat, 350 grammes plain white 00)
10 grammes salt

You could also try this variation:

110 grammes mature sourdough starter (100% hydration)
360 grammes water
500 grammes flour (50 grammes wholewheat, 400 grammes plain white 00, 50 grammes 0 flour)
10 grammes salt
Handful of flax seeds

Or this:
100 grammes mature sourdough starter (100% hydration)
400 grammes water
100 grammes polenta
530 grammes flour (430 grammes plain white 00, 100 grammes 0 flour)
10 grammes salt

For any of these: 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 seeds, if using. Mix well. Add more flour or water if you think the dough needs it. This is where trusting your instinct comes in.

Making bread image Making bread imageFolding, folding…….. and resting. It works well with my Saturday schedule. The bowl is covered with a shower cap when dough is not being folded.
folding dough imageYou can see the gluten strands developing, the dough feels elastic and responsive.

Cover the bowl and let rise for about a few 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.  If baking same day: fold dough into a banneton or bread tin, let rise a couple hours until it’s rising nicely. This depends on how warm your kitchen is. (If baking next day: 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, or when ready to bake: heat your oven to 250C, 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 250C for 25-30 minutes with the lid on, then 15-20 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.

sourdough loafSometimes the bread looks great, sometimes a bit homely…… but few things taste better than a slice of fresh bread with a bit of butter.

Sourdough loaf

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4 thoughts on “Saturday sourdough loaf

  1. dishnthekitchen

    I’ve always wanted to try my own sourdough…but I don’t really want to have a sourdough starter around forever because then I would feel like I would have to bake bread every day!!

    Reply
    1. krumkaker Post author

      Oh, I only bake on the weekends, and not even every weekend. You can even freeze a robust starter and revive it. Hope you try your own sourdough if you get the chance!

      Reply

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