Sourdough ‘How to’ Recipe
Sourdough is the culture that keeps on giving!
If you manage this culture properly, you will never have to buy yeast again. Alternatively, if you just want one loaf, then you can use your new culture to make a delicious loaf of sourdough.
This is a standard, straightforward recipe for sourdough. If you choose to continue your sourdough journey, you will discover that there is so much nuance, ways of tweaking conditions, making slight alterations to bring about new results. However, I used this recipe for a year before I started experimenting and we were always very pleased with the results.
If you just want to make one loaf of bread, then jump to step 2
You have been given 100g of sourdough starter. This is your mother culture, this is what you ‘feed’ with equal parts flour and water. For this recipe, you need 100g of starter, so if you want to continue making bread beyond one load, she’ll have to grow a little.
I always make my starter by adding equal ‘mother’, 100g flour, and 100ml water together.
1) Add 100g of flour, and 100g of water to the jar of mother culture. Mix well, then cover with a lid, or cellophane, and leave for at least 12 hours.
When you return to your mother, it should be bubbly and full of life. If it’s not, then wait a little longer, or try feeding it again. Assuming that it is bubbly, you’re now ready to make your starter!
2) Pour 100g of your mother into a large jar. Add 100g of flour (I use 50g wholemeal, 50g white), and 130g of water into it. Stir, and cover with a lid (or cellophane) and leave for about 12 hours.
(I usually do this step in the late afternoon/evening, the day before I want to make my dough).
Return the mother to the fridge, she will remain dormant until you need her again. When you do want to make another loaf, the day before repeat step 2.
3) Come back to the starter 12 hours later. It should have risen quite dramatically and have lots of bubbles in it. Pour the starter into a large mixing bowl. Add 400g of flour (feel free to mix and experiment, although I’ve found that the culture always like at least some white), and 300g of water. Add 10g of salt, and anything else that you fancy (herbs etc).
4) Pour the mixed dough into another large bowl that has been coated in olive oil. Fold the dough a few times, then leave it to rest in the bowl overnight. Cover it with cellophane and leave somewhere relatively warm.
5) The next morning, lightly dust a work surface with four, and pour your dough onto it. Fold the dough several times to work some air into it. (I watched a video on YouTube of a French person, folding the dough, I’m sure there are lots of videos out there!)
6) Once you’re happy with the overall shape, place your dough into a banneton, or a floured bowl to rest for a few hours (4ish, depending on temperature).
7) Finally you are ready to bake! I like to bake my sourdough in a cast iron pot with a lid. This helps to make the crust very crispy, however you can just use a baking tin.
Preheat oven at 220, together with your tray, or cast-iron pot.
8) If using a cast iron pot, flip your dough into the hot pot, replace lid and bake at 220, for 30 mins. After 30 mins, remove the lid, reduce the temperature to 200, then back for a further 20 mins.
9) If using baking tin, flip your dough into the tin, and pop into the over. Reduce the temperature to 210. Back for 50 mins, until golden brown.
10) Allow the loaf to cool down before eating… if you can resist!
I hope that you enjoy your sourdough journey, please feel free to get in touch with feedback, suggestions and photos!
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