Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Soudough success

I like a challenge, and sourdough is a challenge..I always like it, but Mr S sometimes says it is a little too sour for his palate, or the holes are too big!  So when my 'rye mother' passed away a few months ago, I let it be.  

Just a couple of weeks ago, Marie Claire turned up with some bread.  She was extremely proud of her sourdough which I had been 'mentoring' her on.  Mr S loved the bread...so I asked for a little of her wheat mother.  This is the second loaf in this latest batch.  I reread some of my books, and followed more or less the process explained by Jane Mason in All you Knead is Bread for her Virtuous Bread.  The timings are a little different in that it takes me two days rather than three.

I refresh my starter after breakfast, 

90g of starter from the fridge, 90g white bread flower, and 90g water..and it is bubbling away fiercely by late afternoon.  
Late Evening
I keep 90g back and put it in the fridge, and to the rest I add my mixture of wholemeal, rye and white stoneground bread flours totalling 300g of flour, and 200g of room temperature water.  I mix this  and leave it covered with the shower cap overnight on the kitchen counter.

Day two, 

about 6 hours before I want to bake the loaf,
I add 100g mixture of flours as above, 10g salt, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon diax and 1 tablespoon molasses.

Then the dough has to be kneaded for a good ten minutes.  I chose to add about 50g sunflower seeds, which I had already soaked overnight, drained, then roasted in a low oven.

It is then left covered to rest, then folded as per Jane Mason's techniques, three times with about 3/4 hour interval.  It does not matter if it is a little longer, if you are busy doing something else.

Then it is shaped, and allowed to rise to about 1.5 times.  This time I chose to use the long thin tin, which Penny gave me last year.  It gives a smaller slice, useful if you want to have a smaller sandwich or slice of toast.  The addition of the molasses balances the acidity very nicely, and with the crunch of the sunflower seeds, makes for an excellent loaf.  For the previous load I used honey and just the soaked seeds, and baked it in my wider loaf tin.  Two very nice loaves.  The holes were not too large, but very evenly distributed...Mr S gave 5 stars!


  1. Oh Noelle, thank you so much for alerting me to your sourdough posts. Sourdough bread making is an art and like all art, including gardening, cannot be rushed. I learnt that lesson first time round and I will start making another batch of bread later today and this time knead my dough for 10 minutes. The recipe I was following assumed a stand mixer with dough hook, I have neither, and it therefore skipped over the kneading process. I will crack this, and even though yesterday's loaves were not beautiful or holey they do taste very good.

    1. There are so many ways to make sourdough, and so many recipes. I belong to a great 'Baking through the Book of Buns' group on Facebook, and we have a member who bakes all the standard recipes the sourdough way! The Author Jane Mason who also set up another group there is always really helpful with construction help.