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.