Starter – use this handy chart to help you keep track of your feeding times.
- On the first day, put one tablespoon of flour and one of water into a 500ml glass bowl and mix together.
- Wet a clean tea towel, wring it out well, lay it over the bowl and leave in a warm place for about 12 hours.
- After the 12 hours have passed, add another tablespoon of flour and another of water, mix together, cover with the damp tea towel and leave for another 12 hours.
- On day two (24 hours since beginning your starter), stir in a third tablespoon of flour and a third spoon of water, stir to mix, cover again with the damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 12 hours.
- For the second feed of day two, add a tablespoon of flour and one of water, stir to mix, cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for 12 hours.
- For the first feed of day three (36 hours since beginning your starter), increase the feed by adding two tablespoons of flour and two of water, stir to mix. Re-damp the tea towel if necessary, lay it over the bowl and leave in a warm place for 12 hours.
- On the second feed of day three, add one tablespoon of flour and another of water, mix together, cover with the damp tea towel and leave for another 12 hours.
- At this point your starter should be bubbly and ready to create your ferment. If the starter is not showing bubbles, repeat the 12-hour feed and water routine, and ensure the starter is kept in a warm place.
- Once your starter is bubbly, stir it and measure 50g of the starter into a mixing bowl.
- Pour 150ml water into the bowl and stir until lump free.
- Add 100g flour and stir to mix.
- Invert a larger mixing bowl over the dough bowl and leave in a warm place for 4-12 hours until bubbles appear. When bubbly, your ferment is ready to use (you can either dispose of any unused starter after bread making or keep and feed it regularly until your next baking session).
- Pour the tepid water into the ferment and mix well.
- Add the flour to the ferment and stir to mix.
- While the dough is still craggy and lumpy, stir in the salt.
- Using your hands gather everything together, gently pressing into a sticky ball of dough.
- Knead the dough in the bowl for 100 presses without adding flour.
- Invert a large bowl over the dough bowl and leave in a warm place until roughly double in size which may take 2- 4 hours.
- Lightly dust an oven tray with flour or insert a baking liner and dust the work surface with flour.
- Pick up the dough on the far side of the bowl, gently pulling and stretching it upwards then fold it forward onto the dough still left in the bowl.
- Turn the dough a quarter to the left or right.
- Repeat the action of lifting and stretching the dough then folding back onto itself five or six times, turning the bowl each time.
- Tuck the edges of the dough under to make a ball of dough.
- Line the mixing bowl with a clean tea towel and liberally dust it with flour.
- Put the ball of dough into the cloth lined bowl and invert a mixing bowl over the top and leave it to double in size which may take 2–12 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven 20 minutes before you are going to bake.
- Rub some oil around the inside of an oven tray or insert a baking liner.
- Remove the upturned bowl and very gently tip the dough onto the oven tray.
- Using a very sharp knife, quickly make two cuts on the top of the loaf to form a cross.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer the bread to a wire rack and leave to cool.
Click this link to find a handy Sourdough Starter Chart which when printed has space for you to enter the day and time that you feed your starter with flour and water and to help monitor progress.
This Guide to Sourdough Making contains lots of hints and tips for successful sourdough bread making.
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