Do you think all there is to sourdough bread is holes, a thick crust, a chewy texture and acidic taste? Although many people love that kind of sourdough bread, you would not be alone if you think that sounds unappealing. Furthermore, how do you put jam or ham or honey or tuna on your bread if it’s full of holes? Butter stains on your best shirt? Chicken salad in your lap? No, thank you very much. And you would be right. Bread has a function. Holes are all very well if you are tearing the bread up and using it to mop up sauce. But not if you want meaningful (read: buttered) toast or sandwiches. It’s important to remember that commercial yeast was developed in the mid 1800s and so all kinds of bread – holey and not holey, sweet and acidic, chewy and soft – were baked with a sourdough culture before that.
At last! A recipe for people who would like sourdough bread with a closed crumb full of small, evenly distributed holes, a thin crust, a soft texture and a milder flavour! At last – everyday sourdough bread for everyone. The everyloaf.
30 g wheat sourdough starter from the vat in the fridge
260 g white wheat or spelt flour
90 g water
60 g milk
30 g honey
30 g butter
5 g salt
Measure the sourdough starter into a large bowl and return any remaining starter to the refrigerator. Add 30 g of the white wheat flour and 30 g of the water. Stir and cover with plastic wrap, and leave on the counter for around 8 hours.
Add the remaining ingredients and knead well for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with a shower hat and leave on the counter for 4 hours. Grease a 500 g bread tin. Turn the dough out on to a floury surface and shape it into a tight sausage and gently pop it into the tin. Cover it with a shower hat and let it rise for 2-3 hours or until it passes the probe test. Preheat the oven to 230 celsius. Put the tin in and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200 and bake for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
Want to know more? Come and take our sourdough class and you will be baking sourdough like a pro in no time!
This recipe was written by Jane Mason for her third bread book Perfecting Sourdough.