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
75g malted wholemeal flour
900g strong white flour
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.