Real Bread Week
If you have picked up a jar of wheat sourdough starter from us today congrats! You are one step closer to baking your own bread!
This is the original recipe we use at Artisan Foods reduced in size to bake one large round loaf. We suggest a round loaf because you probably have everything at home you need to successfully bake your first loaf.
Equipment you will need:
A 500ml lidded container or jar
A stand mixer with a dough hook or a large bowl, if you want to mix your dough by hand
A round or square container with a lid which can contain at least 2 litres
A 24cm wide proving basket or a similar sized bowl, lined with a kitchen cloth
A 26cm wide pot with a lid (ideally cast iron, but stainless steel with metal handles will do)
A small sharp kitchen knife, serrated if possible
A timer – your phone will do
So let’s get baking … this is going to be a three-day process!
In the evening you will need to prepare enough sourdough starter for the bread you will make tomorrow. You will need:
The jar of starter you picked up from us
135g strong white bread flour
135g water straight from the tap
Place your open 500ml glass or container on the digital scale and add 30g of the sourdough starter to the container. Next add the 135g water and stir until the starter has dissolved in the water. Finally stir in 135g strong white bread flour. You will get a stiff paste, which with the help of the yeasts and bacteria from our starter will transform into a bubbly mass overnight. Cover the glass/container with a lid and leave somewhere in your kitchen until the next morning.
You will need:
270g of the lovely bubbly starter you have produced overnight
270g water straight from the tap
500g strong white bread flour
Place your mixing bowl onto your scales and add the ingredients in the following order:
First add your 270g starter to your bowl Try to be precise. If too much ends up in the bowl just take a little bit at a time out until you have the required amount. Next pour 270g water on top of the starter. Finally add 500g strong bread flour.
Now mix it all with the dough hook in your machine or with a spoon by hand until no flour can be seen. At this point it doesn’t matter whether the dough is lumpy. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. During this time the flour will absorb water and will become hydrated. After 30 minutes add 13g salt. If you are using a mixer, run it at medium for 10 to 15 minutes until the dough clears the side of the bowl. By hand you will need to work the dough until you have a smooth ball.
Next coat the dough with some oil and transfer it to your oiled larger lidded cast iron or metal container. Set the timer to 30 minutes. After the timer goes off you will see that your dough has spread in the container. Pick up one end of the dough and fold the dough onto itself three times. You will notice with each fold the dough will feel slightly tighter. Set timer again to 30 minutes and repeat the process at 1 hour, 1.5 hours and 2 hours. Each time the dough should get tighter and tighter and after 2 hours you should end up with a dough that loosely resembles a loaf.
Turn out the dough onto your work surface, cup the dough with your hands and shape the dough as much as you can into a ball shape. Flour this dough ball generously and place it upside down either into a floured proving basket or your floured cloth lined mixing bowl you use as an improvised proofing basket. Loosely cover the dough with clingfilm and place it in your fridge overnight.
In the morning set your oven to 250 degrees Celsius. Once the oven is hot place the pot you are using into the oven and heat it up for 30 minutes. Before you can place your bread into the oven make sure it will come out of the proofing basket. Jiggle it a little bit to loosen it and use your fingers to gently pull the sides away until you are certain you can turn the loaf out. Now the pot you are cooking the bread in will be very hot. Open your oven, take some thick oven gloves, and remove the pot from the oven and rest it on your oven door, remove the lid and place the lid on your cooker. Carefully invert the loaf onto the bottom of your pot. Score the bread with a # like we do in our logo or with a simple cross. Place the lid back on the pot, carefully lift the pot and slide it back into the oven. Close the oven door. Bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes the bread will have risen to its maximum volume. Take the pot out, remove the lid, then place the pot without the lid back into the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes and bake the bread to your desired colour.
Once baked let it cool down and enjoy with your favourite toppings. Good butter may just be enough. On the day of baking, the loaf will be difficult to cut. The day after baking it will be a lot easier. The loaf will easily keep a week, but we don’t expect it to be around that long. It does of course make lovely toast as well.
So now that I have baked my bread, what do I do with the rest of the jar of starter?
Keep it in the fridge, discard half of it once a week and feed it with equal amounts of water and flour (50g water, 50g strong bread flour)
If you bake somewhere between every day and every three days don’t refrigerate your starter, just keep feeding it a maintenance feed as above until you need to make the extra quantity needed to bake a loaf of bread after our recipe. Or 2. Or 3.
And if you happen to kill your starter, which isn’t actually that easy, just come back and we will give you more.
Any questions don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com and ask for a phone consultation with Klaus.
And if all fails, remember we have bread ready for you daily between 11am and 3pm at Unit 11, Forest Trading Estate, Priestley Way, E17 6AL.