Sourdough - A Classically straightforward, super and simple step-by-step approach to superior Sourdough.
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Do you want to make sourdough that looks great, is simple to make, tastes like classic sourdough and is super simple?
Fancy a step-by-step approach? Then you've stopped by just at the right time.
We're going to make four 1 kg loaves ay 76% hydration - not too high to cause difficulties but not too low to be ....er....boring?
I'm using 2 large plastic mixing bowls that are 30 cms wide and 16 cm deep. Of course, you adapt your equipment to what is at hand. These are my 'weapons of choice'.
First, a word about my starter.
Last night I took 130 gms of sourdough starter out of the refrigerator and mixed it with 130 gms of spelt flour and 130 gms of filtered water at room temperature. (Ratio 1:1:1, i.e. 100% hydration) This was then placed in a warm spot (24⁰C) for approximately 8 hours. By breakfast, it has doubled and is ready to use.
If you haven't a starter to hand, you might like to try making one.
Alternatively, find someone nearby who makes sourdough and ask for some....they'll always have plenty.
To each bowl add, in this order:
750 mls of filtered water at room temperature (if you can't filter your own water, buy the cheapest bottled spring water that your supermarket sells)
100 gms of active starter
200 gms of wholemeal / wholewheat flour
800 gms strong white bread flour
20 gms sea salt (NOT iodised salt)
Mix it thoroughly together. You'll see in the picture below two of my favourite 'weapons' from my kitchen 'armoury': A Scottish porridge spurtle and a lurid green silicone flexible scraper. I really wouldn't be without either.
Cover. Again, I've found the ideal covers for large bowls - these are disposable shower caps from a company that sells to the dreadlock or long-hair market. They are large and very long lasting. Just awful colours!
What's left of my starter is transferred to a container and placed in the refrigerator ready to be activated prior to the next time I bake. These little soup containers are great.
Thirty minutes later, I'm ready for the first set of four 'stretch and fold' procedures. The 'stretch and fold' helps develop gluten and gluten is what makes bread out of four simple ingredients.
I'm terrible at remembering how many 'stretch and fold' procedures I've completed, so I lay out four teaspoons and put one away after every turn. That way I know that when I've run out of teaspoons, I can move on to the next stage.
If you've never used 'stretch and fold' as a technique, watch this video:
The only difference with my technique is that I do it one-handed while holding the bowl with the other hand. We all find our own way. As you stretch and fold, the dough tightens up. As a result, you'll find you need less stretches and folds on the third and fourth time of doing it than you needed on the first and second. Be firm, but don't be rough. There's no need. And stop when you feel the dough tightening.
#2 : Stretch and Fold (30 minutes)
#3 : Stretch and Fold (30 minutes)
#4 : Stretch and Fold (30 minutes)
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