Sourdough

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Overview
This recipe needs a sourdough starter. We got ours from Mercer’s Restaurant in Eltham, Victoria who sold bread-making kits as part of their COVID-19 lockdown strategy. For this, we are truly grateful! Even better, we have been able to keep it alive for over 6 months. Kudos Us!

Time
1-2 days, most of which is spent hanging around, waiting.

Ingredients
4 cups of flour (see table below)
1 ts salt
3 TB malt
2 TB extra virgin olive oil, hemp oil or appropriate vegetable oil.
200g starter
approximately 340ml water

Suggestions of flour mix:
Original from Mercer’s2 cups bread flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup rye flour
Malty sourdough4 cups bread flour
200g dry malt (from the beer making stash)
Anything goes4 cups of XXX
Extra bits
Play around and have some fun!

Equipment
Benchtop mixer, cast iron lidded pot

Method
The day before baking, feed the starter with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of plain flour. Leave out on bench at room temperature to grow, but watch it doesn’t spill out of the container. It gets messy otherwise…

1 – Combine all dry ingredients in the mixer bowl

2 – Add around 250-300mL of the starter to the mixing bowl

3 – Mix slowly, adding enough water to make a tacky dough

4 – Knead on medium-low speed for 5 minutes

5 – Roll into a large ball, using the benchtop to work the dough into a smooth ball.

6 -Place dough ball into a greased bowl and cover with Glad Wrap. Leave to rise slowly – about 8-10 hours. The dough should rise by at least 50%. Make sure that your cats cannot access this as they will if they can.

7 – Place a tea-towel into another bowl and dust generously with flour. Gently remove the dough , re-shape it into a ball and place on the tea-towel upside down. Cover with Glad Wrap and leave to proof until it has risen by another 20%. Again, protect from cats.

8 – Place a heavy cast iron pot, lid on, in the oven and pre-heat to 220° C

9 – Once heated, remove the pot from the oven, dust with flour and invert the dough into it. Score the top with a razor.

10 – Cover and bake for 40 minutes

11 – Remove loaf from pot and place directly onto the oven rack. Add a ramekin of water to the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes until the centre of the bread reaches 95° C. The loaf should sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.

12 – Allow to completely cool before slicing – if you can wait. Personally I don’t like rule 12. Eat when you feel like it. You just baked it, and the house smells great and you are now so hungry that it’s driving you mad… EAT IT ALREADY!!!

Scoring the bread with a bread scorer makes pretty patterns.

Sourdough
The Sourdough

Feel free to share with friends. Bread will keep for around 3-4 days after baking, if it makes it that long.