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Week 13: River Cottage Sourdough

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There are going to be 2 new recipes this week. The first is a sourdough loaf, made following a recipe in the River Cottage 'Bread' handbook. As usual with sourdough breads, this one took 2 days to make.

Last night I made the sponge by mixing sourdough starter with water (300ml) and flour, (250g) stirring together and leaving overnight to ferment.

This morning I added a teaspoon of salt, about a tablespoon of olive oil and the rest of the flour (300g) and mixed everything together, kneading for about 10 minutes. This was quite tricky to do because the dough was very sticky but the mix does need to be quite wet for this recipe.

The next 4 hours were repeated cycles of knocking back and reshaping the dough every hour which left it very soft and elastic. After that I shaped it into 2 loaves and left them to rise. I baked the loaves on our pizza stone, starting off at gas mark 9 then turning down to gas mark 3 after 10 minutes.

River Cottage Sourdough

The resulting bread has a firm crust with a soft inside with lots of air bubbles. The bread had a slightly crumpet-like texture flavour, which I liked.