Rome has been wet and miserable for days, but now and then there are glorious sunny interludes. A nice change from the relentless rain, when it is too damp to do laundry, and you discover just how non-rainproof your doubleglazed windows are. (New windows are now added to my 2014 wishlist, as I do not think Santa stocks them…..) Still, life is very good. I am appreciating that, including the lovely smell of bread baking on a Sunday morning.
Barley-rye sourdough loaf for a cold day
100 grammes mature sourdough starter (100% hydration, coarse rye, fed Friday)
300 grammes water
400 grammes plain white flour (00)
60 grammes barley flour
25 grammes flax seeds
5 grammes salt
Stir the sourdough starter with the lukewarm 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. Mix well. Add more flour or water if you think the dough needs it. (This was done Saturday afternoon, while catching up with my Downton Abbey backlog).
Cover the bowl and let rise for 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. A few hours before baking, fold dough into a banneton or bread tin, and let rest a couple hours until it’s rising nicely. This dough I left overnight in the fridge in the covered banneton, and baked straight from fridge Sunday morning. A overnight fermentation gives better flavour.
When ready to bake: heat your oven to 250C, with a cast iron pot. When it is properly hot, 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 or so 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.
PS Thanks so much to The Recipe Box for nominating me for The Dragon Loyalty Award! How nice!