Sour dough is the king of breads to eat and to make. This bread is a real test of your baking skills and your commitment to bread making as it really needs a good couple of days to develop texture and flavour. Before that however, you will need to develop a starter dough. Rest assured it’s well worth the effort, so if you love bread this is the one for you and remember practice makes perfect, the more you make it the better your bread will be.
Makes 1 loaf
- 100g strong white flour
- 100ml of water
- 5 refreshing mixtures of 50g strong white flour and 50ml of water will be needed on consecutive days after day 1.
- Place the 100g white flour and 100ml water into a bowl and mix together with your hands to form a batter.
- Leave the bowl out in the open overnight. By leaving it in the open you will encourage yeast spores to develop and that will make for a better/stronger fermentation.
- Add in the first of the 5 refreshing mixtures i.e. the 50g flour and 50ml water, then mix together, cover and place in the fridge.
- You should start to see bubbles forming and a slight sour smell to the mixture.
- Add in the second refreshing mixture of flour and water, then mix together, cover and place in the fridge.
- Add in the third refreshing mixture of flour and water, then mix together, cover and place in the fridge.
- Add in the fourth refreshing mixture of flour and water, then mix together, cover and place in the fridge.
- Add in the fifth refreshing mixture of flour and water, then mix together and leave out in the open for 6 hours before you use it.
- 300g strong white flour
- 100g rye flour
- 10g salt
- 100ml of water approx
- Place both the flours into a bowl and blend together using your hands.
- Make a well in the middle and pour in the starter and half the water (the amount of water will differ slightly depending on room temperature, time of year etc).
- Knead for 10-15 minutes until you have a smooth manageable dough (if your dough is quite sticky, don’t worry its meant to be, stick at it and keep kneading).
- Return the dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a carrier bag.
- Leave to prove for 6 hours or ideally overnight, I find the kitchen is fine as you don’t want anywhere too warm or cold.
- Scoop the dough back out onto a clean work surface, it should have a wonderful honeycomb type structure and be very stretchy.
- Knead and shape by stretching the dough out and fold it over its self for 10-15minutes (don’t add lots of flour when kneading as this will dry out the dough,try oil instead), shape it into a large roll and place into a proving basket or a bowl lined with a cloth dusted in plenty of flour.
- Place in a plastic bag and leave for a second prove of 4-6 hours to double in size.
- Pre heat the oven to 220C/425F or gas mark 7.
- Carefully turn over the loaf onto your hand and then gently lay the bread onto a baking tray, spray the loaf with a little water.
- Score a couple of lines into the bread with a sharp knife or a clean razor blade.
- Bake the loaf for 30 minutes at 220C/425F or gas mark 7 and then turn the oven down to 200C/400F or gas mark 6 and bake for a further 20 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and open the oven door a jar and wedge it open with a wooden spoon for another 10 minutes to let all the steam out of the oven. This will help keep the bread lovely and crusty.
- Sour dough bread will keep for at least a week so its a great project for the weekend as it will last the working week, just remember to keep feeding your sour dough starter every couple of days with equal amounts of flour and water, then it will be ready for the next loaf.