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Sourdough bread is made by the fermentation of dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast. The lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli gives it a more sour taste and improved keeping qualities.
Servings: 4 People
- Bench Scrapper / Razor Blade
- Digital Scale (Kitchen Grade)
- Round Pyrex Dish
- Basic Kitchen Equipment
- Add the flour to a clean mixing bowl. To that, combine the salt, sugar, water and the sourdough starter to the flour. Combine all the ingredients together to form a dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, soft and elastic.
- When kneading, do not worry if the dough is slightly wet or sticky. Resist the temptation to add any extra flour.
- Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with cling film and allow the dough to prove for 4 hours at room temperature.
- After 4 hours, start by Knocking back the dough simply involves knocking the air from the dough which helps to equalise the temperature within the dough.
- Shape the dough into a tight round ball and Line a 2.5l round Pyrex dish with a clean tea towel and dust with flour. Place the formed ball of dough into the Pyrex dish lined with the floured towel then place the lid on the Pyrex dish. Leave to prove for another 3 hours.
- A Pyrex dish acts like a proving basket. The dish acts as a support to your dough. It encourages the dough to take on the shape of the dish and to prove up and not just to spread out flat. The dough will also be baked in the Pyrex dish.
- As dough ferments or proves the gluten within the dough breaks down. The longer a dough is allowed to prove the more flavour it will contain and the easier it is for your body to digest.
- To bake, preheat your oven to 210°C / 220°C fan assisted. Flip the Pyrex dish over so the bowl of the Pyrex dish now becomes the lid. Carefully remove the tea towel.
- Using a sharp knife score / cut the surface of the dough, this is what is known as the baker’s signature. The dough can be cut up to ½ cm deep. (This isn’t just for aesthetics, scoring the bread also helps control where and how it rises while baking)
- Cover the dough with the bowl of the Pyrex dish and place the Pyrex dish into the preheated oven. By baking the dough in the Pyrex dish there is no need to steam the oven. Baking with a lid on the Pyrex dish creates its own steam which will allow the dough to rise and open up while baking. The Pyrex is very similar to the old style of Dutch oven baking.
- Bake for 25 minutes then remove the lid from the Pyrex dish and continue to bake, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes until a good crust has formed and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Once baked remove the bread from the Pyrex dish and allow to cool.