Sourdough Bread

Now you’ve got time to create a good starter and actually have time to use it regularly! I am not a natural bread maker and find sourdough baking much more forgiving than regular dry yeast bread dough. I’ve forgotten about a loaf proving in the boiler cupboard for more than 24 hours and still baked it. It wasn’t the best loaf I have made, but still delicious warm from the oven!

Prep & proving: 24 hours | Cooking: 35 minutes | Makes 2 small loaves or one big one | Suitable for freezing | Suitable from 6 months (if giving to a baby under 1 year, remove the honey from the recipe)

Ingredients

  • 200g water
  • 150g active starter
  • 350g strong white bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10g honey

Method

  • mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl or processor that has a bread dough hook. Either mix with the dough hook for 6 minutes, or once combined tip onto a lightly oiled surface and kneed using the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you. Kneed for roughly ten minutes until the dough becomes stronger and has a smooth elastic consistency.
  • Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with cling film and set aside in a warm environment for 2-4 hours, or until the dough has noticeably grown. You can fold the dough in this time just scraping from the side and bringing into the centre, as this helps the develop more gluten in the first prove, (but I often forget this stage ssh.)
  • After the first prove, I tip the dough onto an oiled surface and shape into a tight ball and lightly flour the top of the dough and tip back into the oiled bowl or into a proving basket (don’t worry if you don’t have one) and recover with a well floured tea towel or the cling film again. Allow to prove for a further couple of hours then pop in the fridge overnight, which really makes the difference I think.
  • The next morning, about half an hour before baking, remove the dough from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 230C & flour or semolina a large lidded casserole dish. Preheat the casserole dish in the oven with the lid on.
  • Once heated up, gently tip the dough into the dish & quickly score down the middle of the loaf with a serrated knife. Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on, and then take the lid off and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until you get a good golden colour & crust on top. Remove from the oven and check the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool completely before slicing.