15th September 2020
Sourdough is unusual for many reasons, but one main reason is its use of a starter or ‘mother dough’. It’s one of the most important elements to a sunning sourdough recipe and for sourdough month, we’re sharing our favourite sourdough recipe, beginning with the perfect starter.
1. Make starter in a large jar, mix 100g of flour with 125ml of warm water. Whisk batter until smooth, leave jar for two hours in a warm place, then put aside for 24 hours.
2. For the next 6 days you need to "feed" the starter. To do this, tip away half the original starter, add 100g of flour and 125ml of warm water whisking each time you do this. Do this the same time every day.
3. After four days bubbles should appear on the surface and it should have a yeasty smell. This shows that the starter is working. The time for fermentation varies depending on temperature and environment. If after six days you see no signs of life throw it away and start again. After eight days the starter should be quite bubbly and smell sweeter, it’s now ready to use.
4. Put all the flour, 225ml warm water, salt, honey, and starter into a bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon or dough hook if you are using a mixing machine.
5. When your dough is mixed, tip onto a floured work surface. Knead dough for about 10 minutes, until it's soft and elastic.
6. Put dough in a large well-oiled bowl, cover with a sheet of oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for three hours to rise.
7. Put a clean tea towel in a large bowl, and dust it with flour. Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead it for about a minute to knock out any air bubbles.
8. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and dust with flour. Put dough in a bowl, cover with oiled cling film, leave for six-eight hours until it’s doubled in size.
9. Put a baking tray in the oven 230 degrees (210 degrees for a fan oven) put a small roasting tin at the bottom of the oven with some water in to create some steam.
10. Take out the baking tray from the oven, sprinkle with flour and then put the risen dough onto the tray. Score the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
11. Bake for 35-40 minutes, leave to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before serving.
700g strong white flour (for the starter)
500g strong white flour (for the loaf)
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon honey
300g sourdough starter