Making a Sourdough Starter
Step 1 Starting (day 1):
120 ml filtered water (weighs 120g) and 120g white bread flour. Mix to a thick paste and leave a room temp for 24 – 36 hours until bubbles can be seen
Step 2 Feeding (days 2- 7):
Give the starter a mix. In separate container, mix 120g starter with 120ml filtered water. Add 120g white bread flour and mix well. Leave at room temp for 24 hours
Feed approx. every 12 – 24 hours – when you can see it has started to slide back down the sides of the container
Final step – Maintenance (Every week):
Once the starter is well established (doubling in 6-8 hours) and passes the float test (without stirring, take 1 tsp from the bubbly top and drop into a cup of water, it should float) keep it in refrigerator and feed, after discarding any liquid on the top (as per instructions for step 2), every 7 days.
Discarded starter can be kept in the fridge and used in various recipes – pancakes, scones…
Making Sourdough Bread
- 240g of bubbly starter
- 150-180ml tepid water
- 50g oil (sunflower, olive, rapeseed)
- 400g white bread flour
- 2 tsp (7.5g ) salt
- 8-12 hours before you plan to mix up the dough, feed your starter. (I do this in the morning, so I can prove my bread overnight* and bake it the following day).
- Attach a dough hook to your stand mixer. Pour the starter into the mixing bowl. Add in the water, oil and flour and mix just until combined. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix for on number 2 for 7 minutes.
- Remove mixing bowl from the stand mixer, cover with cling film and place in a warm place for 3-5 hours (or on the countertop for 9-12 hours*, or in fridge for 12-24 hours) until doubled and passes the “poke” test.
- Punch the dough down with your hand and mix on number 2 for 3 mins. Scrape out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
- Stretch and fold 5 times or so before forming the dough into a ball, tucking the edges under. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with silicon or baking paper (not greaseproof as it will stick to this).
- Cover the bread with oiled cling film and let rise for another 2.5-3 hours in a warm place or until doubled. (You can refrigerate the risen dough and bake up to 12 hours later).
- Preheat oven to 200oC fan and place a roasting pan in the bottom. Once dough has finished its last rise, slash the top of the dough using a sharp knife and dust with flour. Place on the middle shelf, add water to roasting pan and bake at 200oC fan for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 180oC fan for 20 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the tray and cool on a wire rack.