We often buy sourdough in London and it is yummy - we both love it. In the UK Paul Hollywood has been making a big impact on home bakers and recently aired a great tv show.
I tried to make sourdough before, but managed to kill my starter, and my enthusiasm sort of went into hibernation, but a few weeks back I started another culture
1 cup of strong flour to 1 cup of water.
I did the same feed for around 5 days and then used my lovely bubbly mass to make my first loaf of bread.
500g strong white flour
300g of sourdough starter (when you take 300g from the jar - add another cup of flour & water as before and then feed each day)
200ml (approx) of water
large pinch of sea salt.
I blend my ingredients in a food processer with a dough hook for a good 10 minutes to make sure all the gluten in the flour becomes a nice stretchy dough.
I remove from the mixer, pour a little vegetable oil on my work surface and then give it a knead for around 2 minutes and to shape it into a ball.
I oil the mixer bowl to stop the dough sticking and return the dough to the bowl and cover the dough with a shower cap (they are perfect for this).
Now this is where my experimenting has come into its own. I mix my dough around 7pm at night, cover it and leave it on the table in the kitchen to prove overnight - this is a good 12 hours but its so easy you don't have do anything more.
In the morning you will (all being well) get a dough that has risen and filled 3/4 of the bowl - its amazing.
I remove from the mixer, pour a little vegetable oil on my work surface and then give it a knead for around 2 minutes and to shape it into a ball and then use a mixture of semolina and flour and shake it into a round banneton bread proofing rattan basket with the smooth side down.
Sprinkle a litte of your semolina flour mix on the top and cover with your shower cap again. Leave to rise for approx 3 hours.
Preheat your oven to around 250c and put a large flat baking tray in at the same time (you want this to be nice and hot). Also put a 2nd tray at the bottom of the oven that you can pour cold water on.
Once your oven is nice and hot, take a sheet of parchment paper and put on your hot baking tray - sprinkle with flour/semolina mix and tip the bread onto the tray - quickly score bread with sharp blade and pop into the oven at 210c for 15-20 minutes & pour a little cold water onto the 2nd baking tray to create a steam bath (this is what gives the nice crust).
I check my bread after 15-20 mins, if all is ok the splits in the bread have opened up and the crust is hard, I find I need to turn my bread over and cook the bottom for about 10-15 minutes on 200c.
Check your bread has a hollow sound, remove and place on rack and try not to cut into it for at least and hour.
You should get something like this.......once you have made sourdough, there is no going back - its the best bread ever I am addicted. When I retire I'll make it every day - however I am sure going to have a large waistline if I don't exercise - Mike and I can't resist going back for more when we cut into the loaf.....
Catch you all later...........................