Basic Sourdough Bread

Ingredients

  • STARTER
  • 8-10 tbsp Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Einkorn Flour *
  • 8-10 tbsp tepid water
  • FERMENT
  • 50g starter (from above)
  • 100g Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Einkorn Flour *
  • 150ml tepid water
  • DOUGH
  • 300g ferment (from above)
  • 400g Doves Farm Organic Strong White Bread Flour
  • 150ml tepid water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • flour, for dusting

Method

Starter – use this handy chart to help you keep track of your feeding times.

  1. On the first day, put one tablespoon of flour and one of water into a 500ml glass bowl and mix together.
  2. Wet a clean tea towel, wring it out well, lay it over the bowl and leave in a warm place for about 12 hours.
  3. 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.
  4. On day two (24 hours since beginning your starter), stir in the 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Ferment

  1. Once your starter is bubbly, stir the starter and then measure 50g of the starter into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 100g flour and 150ml water, stir to make a paste, cover with the damp tea towel 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).

1st Dough

  1. Add the white bread flour and water to the bowl of ferment and stir to mix.
  2. When roughly mixed, add the salt and stir until incorporated.
  3. Using your hands gather everything, gently pressing into a sticky ball of dough.
  4. Knead the dough in the bowl for 100 presses without adding flour.
  5. Cover the mixing bowl with an upturned bowl and leave in a warm place until roughly double in size which may take 2 – 4 hours.

2nd Dough

  1. Lightly dust an oven tray with flour and dust the work surface with flour.
  2. Tip the dough onto the work surface, knead for 100 presses without adding flour and shape into a ball.
  3. Line the mixing bowl with a cloth and liberally dust it with flour. Put the ball of dough into the cloth-lined bowl and cover with an upturned bowl. Leave to double in size, 2 – 4 hours.
  4. Pre-heat the oven.
  5. Remove the upturned bowl and very gently tip the dough onto the prepared oven tray and remove the cloth.
  6. Using a very sharp knife, quickly make two cuts on the top of the loaf to form a cross.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  8. 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.