Sourdough fingers

Baking bread. I've been an eager convert ever since we got our first breadmaker three years ago. But around at Mike and Elena's in December, I read their copy of Leith's Baking Bible. Yum. Three pages of detailed instructions on making one loaf of sourdough bread; the adjectives were inspiring promising thick crusts and intensely chewy insides. And there's no need to add yeast; it gets captured from the air around you.

So Mary found me a copy for christmas and Freddie and I have been busy successfully experimenting ever since. And the breadmaker that was once my pride and joy is relegated to a five minute knead every now and again.

So what does it involve, making these loaves, you ask? It takes about five-ten minutes a day to have a 1kg loaf every three days. Here's what you do:

  1. Weigh 225gms organic strong white flour and put it in a into a pudding bowlClick to view in fullscreen
  2. Weigh 340gms organic strong white flour and 110gms of organic rye or wholemeal flour and put it into a bowl large bowl
  3. Pour 450gms of starter* into the mixing bowl
  4. Add the 225grms of flour in the pudding bowl and 225ml of water to the starter, stir, and put back into the fridge
  5. Pour 150ml of lukewarm water into the mixing bowl, and knead the lot for 10 minutes
  6. Leave to rise overnight in an oiled bowl covered in oiled clingfilm (Steps 1-6 should take 8 minutes to complete)
  7. Oil hands, knead it for one minute, then put it in the fridge first thing in the morning (1 minute)
  8. Take it out of the fridge when you get back from work around 6:30pm
  9. Oil your hands and a worktop, stretch out the dough and sprinkle two teaspoons of sea salt, six tablespoons of seeds (any will do, preferably edible ones!) , and one tablespoon of either caraway, cumin or aniseed.
  10. Knead for one minute until the seeds and salt are thoroughly mixed in
  11. Roll into a ball, then pop it into a banneton floured with rye flour
  12. Leave in a warm place to prove until doubled in size (about three hours) (steps 8-12 should take three minutes)
  13. Turn the oven on to gasmark 6 putting your baking stone on the top rack and a metal dish on the floor of it
  14. Turn the dough out onto a floured breadboard
  15. Slash it a few times with a razor blade
  16. Wait ten minutes, then mist it with water and put it in the oven for 30 minutes
  17. Turn it over and bake for a further five minutes
  18. Place on drying rack for an hour (though steps 13-18 takes an hour and a half, only 3 minutes are required of actually doing anything but waiting…)

You're done; a thick crunchy crust and incredibly chewy texture combined with that inimitable 'sourness' will make you the toast of town.

* That 'starter' bit. To get things going, mix 225 grms flour with 225mls water, and a handful of unwashed grapes and leave uncovered for three days. Then mix a further 225grms flour with 225mls water to it and leave uncovered for another three days. Then go to step one above.

Image of the starter getting a mixing on the left.

4 thoughts on “Sourdough fingers”

  1. Thanks for this kind of a fantastic report. Its hard to find top quality posts any longer, i’ll also look at your social profiles and observe or such as you. Can i question who you use for website maintenance?

  2. Depends on the time of yr you have booked – though this particular resort is aimed more at families, so you shouldn’t view too much drunken debauchery!To avoid touts/timeshare sellers and the like, when you return to the island (and you will want to) try

  3. As a cancer survivor I totally get what Eric is saying – there is never a better time than now to go out and fulfill a dream. It doesnt matter how old you are, Life is way to short no matter how long you live.It took a cancer diagnosis to make me see that. I wish more people would realize this without the heartbreak of having to tell anyone “I have cancer”.Thank you for writing about this “hockey idiot”. I dont agree with your self tittled moniker but whatever floats your boat!!! LOLNancy xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.