|The first loaf|
And the taste of fresh sourdough? It's almost like tasting bread for the first time. The crust is chewy or crunchy and fundamentally enjoyable and each mouthful contains complex flavours that negate the need for toppings at all. My recent breakfast of choice has been a few slices of untoasted seeded sourdough and a cup of coffee, and despite sounding like a bread-and-water diet, it feels almost luxurious.
|From the top: light rye, semolina, seeded sourdough toasts|
|Wholemeal sourdough bagels|
|A mid-spring dinner: wholemeal sourdough, homemade butter, homegrown radish slices, almond pesto and a runny brie.|
|Multi-grain seeded loaves - in which I learnt the importance of proper shaping|
My adaptations to the recipe were purely pragmatic, I substituted in the seeds that I had to make up a total of 100g (20g flax seeds and 40 each of sunflower and pumpkin) and used wholegrain oats in place of rye flakes. The recipe has 2 long fermentations and takes a total of 7.5 hours. You get 2 small 500g loaves that can sit happily on the counter for 3-4 days in spring weather and also freeze well (place in an airtight bag and freeze when the loaf has cooled completely).
The recipe involves a lot of different techniques/steps and times so I have indicated them in red and blue respectively.
Multi-grain seeded sourdough
2x 500g loaves
adapted slightly from Wild Yeast
Soaker: place in a small bowl and soak for 30 minutes
100g of seeds of your choice
34g of wholegrain rolled oats
240g of high grade flour (or plain flour and gluten flour)
93g wholemeal flour
41g coarse-ground rye flour
227g water - add about 200mL first then add the rest if required
169g active 100%-hydration sourdough starter
all of the soaker from above
1. While the soaker is soaking, combine everything else and knead until you have a dough which bounces back when you poke it and mostly passes the windowpane test.
2. Add the soaker and knead to distribute it throughout the dough.
3. Transfer to a lightly oiled container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to ferment for 2.5hrs. Fold the dough at 50 and 100 minutes.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, divide into two even portions. Shape them into simple balls, cover with a tea towel and rest for 30min.
5. Shape the dough into 2 batards. I don't have a couche, so I place each batard seam-side down onto a piece of floured baking paper, then into my baguette baking tray. Cover with the tea towel and prove for 2.5-3hrs.
6. Preheat the oven and baking stone (I preheat a metal baking tray and even this helps in achieving a good crust) to 260 degrees Celsius and place a shallow baking tin filled with boiling water (I use a square cake tin with 2cm of water) in the floor of the oven to get steam.
7. Just before baking, slash the loaves with 1-2 longitudinal cuts. Place onto preheated baking tray and into the oven.
8. Once the loaves are in the oven, reduce the temperature to 230 degrees. After 10min remove the water-filled tin and bake for a further 25min.
9. Turn off the oven and leave the loaves in the oven for a further 10min with the door ajar.
10. Cool on wire rack.
|Seeded and semolina sourdoughs with herbed scrambled eggs|