Sunday, February 17, 2013

White sourdough

This is my 'standard' sourdough loaf . Although I describe it as a 'white' loaf, I actually add a small proportion of malted wholemeal flour to add flavour and texture.

625g warm water
400g white sourdough starter
20g salt
75g malted wholemeal flour
900g strong white flour


  1. Measure the water into a large mixing bowl, add the starter, tearing it into very small pieces, and mix until you have a wet batter. Add all the flour and the salt, mix thoroughly with a spoon, then stretch and fold the dough in the bowl about 12 times.
  2. Place the bowl inside a plastic bag, leave at room temperature for 15 minutes, remove bowl from bag and  stretch and fold the dough another 12 times. Repeat this rest-'stretch and fold' cycle three more times (so that by the end the dough will have rested for 1 hour in total). After the last stretch-and-fold, return the dough to the bag and leave to sit at room temperature for a further hour.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into two equal portions (about 1kg each). Form each piece into a loaf - I generally make one boule and one batard - and leave to rise in a well-floured, lined banetton for about 6 hours at room temperature. An hour before the loaves have finished rising, put your stone in the oven and set the oven to 250oC.
  4. When the loaves are fully risen, boil some water in the kettle. Turn out one of the loaves onto a well-floured peel, and slash the top. Pour about 200ml of water into the oven tray to create steam, transfer the loaf onto the hot stone, spray a little more water into the oven and close the door.
  5. After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 225oC and bake for a further 25 minutes or so, until done. Leave to cool on a wire rack, while you bake the second loaf.

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