Classic White Sourdough
Definitely time and patience required for this one, but well worth it in the end – give it a go!
- 500g Plain Strong White Flour
- 1 x tspn SeaSalt
- 300ml water
- 1 x tsp honey
- 150g sourdough starter
- Blend the flour with water, just a gentle mix so most of the flour is incorporated, no kneading required, and leave to stand covered for an hour. This allows for the flour to become hydrated and makes it easier to handle later in the process.
- Making sure your starter is at its peak, nice and bubbly, add it into the flour & water mix along with the honey & gently mix to form a wet dough. Cover and leave to stand for 30 min covered.
- Then carry out a series of gentle stretch & folds, you can add the salt at this stage. Wet your hands for this as it will help keep them from sticking. Do three of these folds leaving approx. 20 -30 min between each. You will notice that the dough has become easier to work with and has more elasticity.
- Place in a glass bowl which has been rubbed with a little oil – this is to prevent the dough sticking – cover, and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Next morning remove from fridge and leave for around and hour. You should notice that the dough has become more pillowy, with air bubbles. Turn out unto a floured surface and gently shape dough into a rounded ball.
- Place in a bowl which has been lined with a cloth dusted well with flour, cover, and leave for a further hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 240/c fan gas 8
- Remove dough from bowl and gently shape into a round ball. For cooking purposes, I used a large cake tin which had been pre-heated in the oven and roughly lined with parchment, pop in the dough & place on the rack of the oven. Cover with a lid, ideally making sure there is enough space to allow for the dough to expand. Another alternative would be to use a Pyrex bowl & lid. This will help with giving the loaf a better rise and crispy crumb.
- Cook for 30min’. Remove lid and bake for further 10-15 min’ so that it gets a good colour on top. Check that it has a hollow sound when tapped from underneath, leave for further few minutes, if needed, to get the desired result. I usually take mine out of the tin and turn it over for the last 5 min if it needs a bit more colour. Leave on wire rack to cool but do not cover.
After The stretch & fold sequences, instead of putting it in the fridge leave in a warm place for 3-4 hours, if you’re going to be around. then just follow the steps for getting it ready for the oven. If it does not work out the first time keep on trying, it is definitly an art form to perfect.
Sourdough batard. Don’t have a dutch oven, but still turns out pretty decent using a large oval pyrex dish with lid. Was a bargain at €10/$12.
- 70g Plain Strong White Flour
- 30g wholewheat flour
- 100g water
- Day-1 Blend the flour with water, making sure it is well incorporated. Leave in warm place, I left mine in the hot press much to my wife’s consternation.🤨 should be around 21-24°c. The wild yeasts and bacteria on the flour will then begin to ferment after a couple of days, leave the lid slightly ajar.
- Day-2 Feed with 50g strong white 50g wholewheat flours 100g water.
- Day-3 Discard half & feed again & with same, it should start to smell unpleasent, maybe of vinegar, alcohol, sourness.
- Day-4 Repeat as day three.
- Day-5 Repeat as day three
- Day-6 repeat as day three. It should start to smell more pleasent, and look active.
- Day -7 The starter sould be nice and bubbly at this stage showing that it is active and ready for use.
Everyday to maintain starter you need to discard half and then feed it with the same quanity. The only reason to discard is so you do not end up with to much, alternatively you can bake with the left overs, more about that later. It can be stored in the fridge, take out once a week, feed & stand at room temperature for 2-3 hours (to help reinvigorate the yeast) before placing in the fridge to store.
Alway use equal quantities of flour to water for the starter, & you can use different flours, like Rye & Spelt.