Sourdough a go-go? Easy
Imagine a calm Scottish seascape, Grasshopper, and lose your anxiety, it’s sour dough, a go-go, time …
This is a quick guide for my pal Bob to help him make a sourdough loaf using a proven method.
This approach is designed to save time. Key pointers and stages are covered in the headings as you’ll see.
Assumptions a go-go
At this stage I’m assuming you have a sourdough starter available and it has been at room temperature for a couple of hours. If you’re in a cold environment you can use a warm area to let things warm up or allow more time.
You’ll need the following:
- 2 mixing bowls
- set of scales
- mixing jug
- working surface
- measuring spoons
- cling film
- wooden spoon
- cooling rack
You’re will need the following ingredients:
- sourdough starter – 110 ml (3.7 fl oz)
- water – 200 ml (6.8 fl oz)
- strong flour white/brown – 400 gm (14.2 oz)
- salt 1 tsp
- elbow grease
1. Prepare the dough
- measure 200 gm of flour into a mixing bowl (wholemeal or white is up to you – 50/50 works well)
- measure 110 ml of starter and 200 ml of warm water into a jug and mix together
- add mixture to flour in mixing bowl
- mix well
- cover mixture with cling film
- move to warm place for approx 6 hours or even overnight
==== 6 hours passes by ====
- measure 200 gm of flour into another bowl
- add a quarter teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt
- mix dry until you’re happy the salt, sugar and flour are well mixed
- remove cling film – obvious, but what the hell …
- add dry flour mix to the bowl and stir together using wooden spoon handle
- rub oil (olive, rapeseed, other) on hands – you don’t need too much – stops dough sticking
- work dough in bowl – until it comes together in a ball – most of ingredients absorbed
2. Work dough
- sprinkle flour on a smooth working surface
- put dough ball on floured area
- knead (for 10 minutes) squish, stretch, fold, roll, punch and so on, turn 90 degrees regularly. As you work it the dough will smooth and become putty-like, waxy. (there is an alternative method called ‘stretch and fold’ contact me if you want to know more)
If the dough feels sticky and clings to your fingers …
- sprinkle flour on the dough (repeat until absorbed) and the dough becomes a smooth ball.
3. Rising a go-go
The images show the rise. The rising in this case uses a ‘banneton’, a French basket for raising bread.
- Flour the banneton, rubbing dry flour over the inside
- Drop the dough in it
- Leave aside, covered in cling film, until it rises
- Over night is fine, longer if it’s cold
Prepare pizza stone
- lightly coat the centre with semolina or cornmeal (stops loaf sticking to surface and has nice feel when baked)
- put dough on it – turn banneton over and bang it on the stone and (if you’ve floured the banneton enough) the dough will fall onto the stone.
- cover with lightly oiled cling film
- move to warm place to rise a wee bit more for 2 – 4 hours
You can also use a bread tin, but that’s another story…
4. Bake Bread
Note: oven will be heated from cold no pre-heating required, with pizza stone and dough inside
- place dough on pizza-stone to work surface
- remove cling film
- slash surface with fine bladed sharp knife. Slash deep, but with care.
- don’t be hasty.
- place in oven centre.
- add 100 ml (3.4 fl oz) water to small baking tin. The water will turn into steam and help crisp the crust
- place small tin on shelf below loaf.
- set temperature to 190 degrees C (375 F)
- bake for 50 minutes (check every so often after 35 minutes)
- check colour is golden and lift onto a suitable surface for a hot pizza stone
- test loaf holding on thick towel
- tap base listen for hollow thumping sound
If you’re happy with the hollow sound, pat yourself on the back and place loaf on a cooling rack. If you like a softer crust, wrap in a clean tea towel. Some say you shouldn’t slice bread until it’s cold.
Me, I give it 15 minutes and then butter a slice
Like anything else, practise and thought will give you results you’ll like. Enjoy.
© Mac Logan