So very proud of this Sourdough loaf of bread I made today [well I actually started the process yesterday morning]. In the last 10 years I've made many loaves of bread, bread rolls, Turkish bread, Focaccia, pizza dough etc and yet Sourdough was still something that I felt intimated by. My friend and I did a Sourdough class back in November 2019 however it was the time frame that put me off. If I was going out first thing in the morning then I wouldn't make a start on it the night before and I felt it was too hard when we can easily make Five Seed Bread in a couple of hours.
Last week I was given some starter by Carrie at my Homesteading Course and I really wanted to make some sourdough. Last Saturday night I somehow I ended up finding Elaine Boddy on IG which lead me to her website and YouTube channel which lead me to her book which lead me to "I can do this".
Her Master Recipe and the timetable totally suited me and I jumped onto it and got to baking and this is what I produced. A real sourdough loaf, something that you would find in a bakery and I had finally nailed it. You can see what my bread attempts looked like back in 2016 [not that great, a bit like a brick] so I'm thrilled that I no longer am intimated by the process and happy with my sourdough bread.
The other thing I loved about Elaine's process is that she does a "cold bake". In other words she puts her dough into the baking tin cold, the tin is cold and her oven is cold. You then put the baking tin with lid on into the oven turn, it up to 220 degrees and set the timer for 55-60 minutes. The great thing about this is there is no trying to dump your dough into an extremely hot baking tin and oven which has always been tricky not to burn yourself so a "cold bake" is perfect particularly once the dough is in the tin you then score it with your lame which is hard if you have a hot baking tin. If you haven't given sourdough a go yet or feel intimated, trust me this is for you.
The beginning part of the process was take your starter out of the fridge at 9.00 am and bring the starter to room temperature which took a approximately 2 hours around 11.00 am. Feed it with 30gms of strong white flour [aka bread flour] and 30gms of water [cooled down boiled water from the kettle] cover it up and leave on the bench until the afternoon.
Then around 4.00-5.00 pm:-
Weigh 50gms of starter
Add 350gms water [cooled down water from the kettle]
** Mix the water and the starter together using a spoon, then add the following:-
500gms of bakers flour [strong white bread flour]
1 teaspoon of salt
This is the Master Recipe which you then mix it together until it's all combined however it can still look very shaggy.
Then 45-60 minutes later do the lifts and folds about 25 times by turning your bowl round while you do it. There are videos by Elaine how to do this.
Do another set of lifts and folds, it does not have to be 25 this time, perhaps half until it comes into a ball. Do this another 4 times about 45-60 minutes apart but it's not time critical, so it could be more or less, as long as you do it another 4 times.
Cover it up with your shower cap leave it on the bench overnight.
The next morning it should have doubled in size, if not, leave it longer to prove.
Do your lift and folds and turn it into your rice floured banneton and cover with shower cap and put in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours maximum of 24 hours [Elaine does 6 hours] - today I did 5 hours.
This is when you turn your dough into your prepared baking tin with baking paper [videos how to turn this out on Elaine's YouTube channel too] and then it's time to score the bread, put the lid on and put it into your cold oven. Turn the oven on to 220 degrees and set your timer for 55-60 minutes. I use this enamel roaster although mine is a tiny bit smaller however if I had to buy one again I would buy this size.
After the 55-60 minutes I took the lid off and let it cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
You must leave your bread to cool down completely before slicing and Elaine explains why. Below are some photos starting from when it proved overnight on the bench. Elaine's website and YouTube channel has great videos and a 23 minute video start to finish with lots of shorter 2-5 minute videos about specific processes.
This is the proved dough which sat overnight in the bowl.