If you have followed me on my Instagram, you know I am into sourdough bread. As people say, you are either in love head over heels with sourdough or not at all. There is no half way! I'm not an expert but a learner. If I can do it, anyone can.
Sourdough bread making is a complex and lengthy process that requires knowledge and understanding. I have documented each loaf I baked so I know what went wrong and what worked well. It is part of my sourdough journey.
Wholemeal flour adds even more complexity into fermentation as the 'meal' in the flour gets in the way of the gluten development in the dough. It is usually not recommended to a beginner. However, I have simplified the process and laid it out step by step so that it is fail proofed and easy to follow even for the beginners.
There is very little effort involved and the majority of fermentation time happens while you are sleeping. Baking in a loaf pan eliminates the risk of getting flat frisbee bread. Once you are experienced, you can start using a banneton basket to bake a proper crusty boule or an oval shape sourdough bread with beautiful scoring.
Here is a list of what you need to in order to follow this process. Measure everything accurately in grams even the liquid ingredients.
A least a week old sourdough starter. ( If you haven't got one, head over to my Instagram. It is in one of my Highlight circles) @finchkanya
A stand mixer with a dough hook. ( If you don't have one, roll up your sleeves and get kneading!)
A digital scale
360g Strong white bread flour ( I used Duchy Organic )
120g Wholemeal plain flour ( I used Allinson's)
270g warm milk ( 32 degree Celsius )
30g warm water
9g find sea salt
9 am Feed the sourdough stater so it is active and ready for baking in the evening.
Take out the starter from the fridge.
Spoon 40 grams into a clean new jar and feed with
80 grams of flour ( I feed my starter with rye flour) and 80g of tepid filtered water.
Mix well and cover loosely with the lid. Leave it the warmest room in your house . Mine is in a cloak room with the temperature at 21 C. Put an elastic band around the jar to mark the level of the starter. This should double or triple in size by 8pm, which means you will have enough starter for this recipe.
8 pm Your sourdough starter should have doubled if not tripled in size with lots of bubbles.
Start mixing the dough
In a large mixing bowl, whisk 150g of bubbly and active starter with milk, water, honey and oil. Add both types of flours and salt. Mix with a handle of a wooden spoon until combine.
( about 2 minutes). The dough will look sticky and uneven. Don't bother with its look and feel at this stage.
Cover the bowl with a damp towel and leave it at room temperature for 1 hour.
9:15 pm Knead the dough in a stand mixer using a dough hook on mininmu speed and speed 1 alternatly for about 10 minutes. It could be longer or shorter but pay attention carefully to the texture of the dough.
Your kneading is 'almost 'done when the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.
Your kneading is ' done' when the dough starts to come away also from the bottom of the bowl cleanly.
The dough texture will be very smooth and no longer sticky.
Window pane test. Your dough is 100% ready for formention when it passes the window pane test. Damp your hand. Pinch and pull out a piece of dough and stretch it until you can see the light passing through the dough without it tearing. If it tears, knead for a couple more minutes and repeat.
9:30 pm Remove the dough onto a work surface with no flour and round it up into a ball. This will take about 2 mintues. See the vdo below.
Transfer it into a clean glass bowl. Cover with a large roomy supermarket bag and leave it in the fridge overnight. My fridge is 7 degree C. At this temperature, the fermention is taking place at a crawling speed. So you will never run into an overefermented problem.
THE NEXT DAY
8 am Take the dough out of the fridge. The dough will look pretty much the same and has not increased in size yet.
Turn the oven on at 40 degree C . Cover the bowl with damp tea towel and leave it in the oven until it doubles in size. Mine took about 3 hours. It could be longer or shorter than mine.
11 noon Once it doubles in size, flour the work surface and flip the bowl upside down. The dough will come out the bowl by itself. Don't rush it. Once it drops onto the work surface scrape out bits that are stuck inside the bowl and pad it ontop of the main dough. Cover with the same glass bowl and leave it to relax for 10 minutes before shaping.
The dough should now spread out into a natural rectangle, ready for shaping. The side facing you has no flour and is sticky.We want that so don't sprikle and more flour on it. You can however add more flour around the outer perimetre of the dough.
With your floured hands, lift up the right side of the rectangle and fold it halfway to the left. The sticky side of the dough is now covered in half.
Now lift the left side and stretch to the right to cover the entire surface of the dough. Tap along the end bits of the dough firmly with your index finger to stick the seam.Your dough now looks like a bouncy, full of air, large sausage.
The final step of shaping is to roll the sausage-like dough into itself like a swiss roll and transfer it into a greased and flour loaf pan.
Cover the tin with a large and roomy supermarket bag. Leave it to rise again until it is about an inch above the rim of the bread tin. Then it is ready to go in the over.
3 pm Baking
Preheat the over to 190 C
Put the dough on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Once finish, brush it with melted butter and leave into cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool complete before slicing.
Please share your experience if you follow the recipe. So we can all get better and have delicious bread to eat.