Modern Sourdough

I wanted to share my current sourdough regime as I have changed a little bit since my last posts, and I have moved to a property which is much warmer, and has a much better oven! I am also baking bread to primarily go in a toaster and one which can be accommodated by my parents (who live downstairs) so seeds aren’t really applicable, and I bake it in a loaf tin so there are even slices.

I am still using Hodmedod’s rye flour for the starter, and Doves Farm strong white for the majority of the flour. I have been adding porridge oats to give a nutty flavour and soft crumb, and fine Himalayan salt.

I no longer weigh the ingredients, and go by eye/feel but is in the region of 100g of starter, 300ml of warm water and about 500g of flour, along with a teaspoon of salt. Whisk the starter in to the water, then add the flour and fold in loosely. Leave for 10-30 minutes before adding the salt, then begin the turns. The strong white makes for a dough which handles easily, and I keep it at a fairly low hydration as I don’t want too many air pockets in the finished loaf.

The tin I use is EXCELLENT: a Netherton Foundry 1lb loaf tin and it is worth every penny. I brush the inside with olive oil before shaping the dough but it’s not stuck once and bakes a beautiful crisp crust.

I bake the loaf for 15 minutes at 210℃ (eco fan setting) and then 180℃ for another 30-40 minutes. On this occasion there was about 3 hours between putting in the tin and baking, as the kitchen is south-facing and even on a cold day gets quite warm, but normally I make the dough in the evening and leave it in its tin overnight in the fridge. It does need an extra 10-15 minutes I find, if it’s been retarded for that length of time.

I always wrap the cooked loaf in a tea towel to make the crust a little softer so skip this part if you like it super-chewy. This bread toasts beautifully and is delicious – especially with pumpkin soup.

2 Replies to “Modern Sourdough”

  1. I really enjoyed the article. I love making sourdough bread, eating sourdough bread and sharing it with others. I am not allowed to make it except for special occasions by direct request form my wife and daughter….It is addictive and it is consumed very quickly adding too many calories to their diet…maybe mine too.

    My favorite starter was made from the skins of wild grapes that grow in the Houston, TX area. A unique flavor. I do prefer proofing overnight as I believe it brings out the best flavors. Thank you….

    1. Thanks Bishop 🙂 Yes, it is a lovely alchemic way of making bread, and in these days of never quite knowing what to offer people due to dietary preferences, or what to take to an event, I find a fresh sourdough is always appreciated!

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