Thursday, 14 December 2017

Big sourdough adventure

Maybe it is the lovely cool weather, the fact that the holidays are almost upon us or perhaps an alignment of the stars, but yesterday seemed to be a day for daring to go out of my comfort zone. I went for an extra long run at dawn, spent an extraordinarily long time admiring wildflowers afterwards (when I should have been in the shower getting ready for work), I took on a new project I knew little about, and baked the biggest, most hydrated  sourdough I've ever tried with my new starter.

And you know what, everything turned out well! The crumb of the bread (which I baked this morning) is as soft as cotton candy, and the crust is as crisp as the air in the mornings.

Life is good!

Ingredients

100 g sourdough starter (with 100% hydration)
700 g wholewheat flour
630 ml of water (90% hydration)
14 g salt

Method

I made a preferment with 300 g wholewheat flour, the starter and 400 ml of water and let it bubble and grow for two hours.

The remaining ingredients were mixed in with a spoon and left for a 40 minute rest.

I kneaded the whole mixture by hand until it turned silky and stretchy and left it in a warm place for the next 4 hours. Into the fridge it went after that, for the next 8 hours, where it rose impressively (nearly double).

Once the dough had sat on the counter for an hour or two,  I kneaded it briefly to evenly distribute the yeast (another daring thing, I am usually quite timid about roughing up once-risen sourdough).

The shaped loaf sat covered, for two more hours in a very warm place, and the oven preheated to 250 degrees C.

The loaf was upturned, scored and sent in with a bowl of boiling water for 10 m.

I lowered the temperature to 190 degrees and gave it another 40 minutes.

It was a good thing I was out for a meeting, or I may not have been able to resist pinching corners to sample while my beauty cooled.

Like all good things, it was worth the wait 😁