September is sourdough month. Making bread is a relaxing and wholesome experience. Remember to be patient with the prove, it can take a bit longer sometimes; the end result is amazing.
Sumptuous sourdough recipe
DAY 1 Gently mix 10g flour & 10ml warm water into a paste. Then put the paste in a plastic tub with the lid ajar or covered in muslin cloth (so that the air can ferment the paste) and keep it at room temperature.
DAY 2-5 Each day add an additional 10g flour & 10ml warm water each day and gently mix until you have a total of 100g of sourdough starter. At this point the mixture should start to bubble and have a bit of body. It should also have a healthy sour smell.
DAY 6 Add 100ml of water and 100g of flour to your 100g of sourdough starter and mix gently (at this point your total will be 300g).
DAY 7-13 To start feeding your sourdough starter remove 200g and replace with 100g of flour plus 100ml cold water (to bring the mixture back to 300g). Mix well until it’s a smooth consistency - do this every day until day 14. After day 7 the sourdough starter is best kept in the fridge.
DAY 14 The 200g that is removed on this day should be strong enough to use as your sourdough starter. Add 100g flour and 100ml water to the remainder of the sourdough starter (so that you bring the mixture back to 300g) - this can be kept in the fridge and fed with more flour and water to use in future batches.
500 grams of strong white flour
Water, as required
1. Mix together the flour, sourdough starter and 250ml/9fl oz water in a bowl. Add the sugar and salt. Turn out on to a surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the 'windowpane effect' is achieved (where the dough can be stretched until it is so thin that it becomes transparent)
2. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 2½–3 hours. You won't notice as much of a rise in the dough as you would with a normal, yeasted bread and it will take a lot longer.
3. Turn out the dough onto a surface and knock back. Portion the dough into two and shape into two ball-shaped loaves. Flour generously, and place each loaf seam-side up in a bowl, lined with a couche cloth or a heavily-floured tea towel – without the cloth, your loaf will stick in the bowl and you won't be able to turn it out. Leave to prove for a further 2½ hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 230C/210C Fan/Gas 8. Put a few ice cubes or cold water into a baking tin and place in the bottom of the oven to create steam. Turn the loaves out onto a baking tray or hot baking stone. Using a thin sharp knife score two or three times on the top of the loaf and place in the oven. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.
500g/1lb 2oz strong unbleached white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
300g/10½oz sourdough starter
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
flavourless oil, for greasing