There's more to us than just making photos and frames. During Covid-19 lockdown I've rediscovered my love of baking bread.
Here's a simple recipe for making a sourdough loaf of bread. It makes a great base for experimenting with. All that is required are a few ingredients and a bit of patience and luck. I've heard it said that sourdough bread is as much an art as it is a science.
First of all you need a sourdough starter.
This takes approx three plus days to make. Simply mix 1/2 a cup of flour and 1/2 of water to form a stiff paste like mix. Place in a warm spot ( I put mine on top of the fridge near the back to catch the warm air off the condenser). Feed every day with equal parts of flour and water. I use about 1/4 of a cup of each. After a three plus days it will start foaming on the top and will take on a sweet yeasty aroma. To test to see if your starter is ready to use simply drop a few blobs of this into water, if it floats you're good to move on to baking.
Now for the Bread making part.
- 500g of white flour plus a bit more for kneading etc
- 300g of active sourdough starter
- 250ml of water
- 10g of brown sugar
- 8g of salt
- Oil for greasing baking pans/dishes
- Mix together the flour, sourdough starter and water in a bowl. After this is mixed well add the sugar and salt. Either continue to mix in a breadmaker or turn out onto the bench and knead until the windowpane effect is achieved (approx 10mins plus).
- Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let it prove for 2.5 to 3 hours. I pop mine in the hot-water cupboard for this. But warning - keep an eye on it as It can overflow if extremely active starter is used.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knock back. Sometimes at this point I mix in various seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, linseed and sesame (approx a couple of tablespoons of each). After knocking back either divide the dough in two for two smaller loaves or leave as one for a massive loaf. Place the loaf/loaves in a heavily floured cloth and leave to rise for another 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius. Place a container of water in the oven to provide steam while baking. Turn your loves onto a baking tray or pizza stone (on the pic above I used a casserole dish so it keep its shape), score the tops with a knife two or three times and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and a good crust has formed. Baked loaves will also sound hollow when tapped.Now enjoy and post your photos of the successfully outcomes.