Hungry? Well, yes…

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Yes, well, I thought I’d make two sourdough breads this week because these past weeks of experimenting have taught me that a smaller loaf gets eaten too quickly and the crust gets too hard on a bigger loaf. So I used 900g flour (600g white and 300g wholemeal) to make two loaves. One will go quickly and the other in the freezer for next week. I feel like a sausage sandwich later and may make some caramelised onions to go with it, lovely! Beloved said they look like Sankhara stones…

Recipe/ method:

For the sponge (make the night before): 250g white bread flour, 150g wholemeal bread flour, generous ladleful of sourdough starter and 540ml water.

In the morning: add 350g white and 150g wholemeal bread flours, 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, mix, knead for 15 minutes, leave for an hour, deflate, shape into a round, leave for another hour, repeat two more times. After a total of 4 hours of rising/ deflating, cut the dough in half, shape into rounds, leave for 15 minutes (to relax the gluten according to River Cottage). Shaping: deflate one more time, then roll up tightly; flatten and stretch, fold the sides to overlap, press down seams and shape into an oval. Roll the loaves in some rye flour, put on a floured wooden board and under a plastic bag to prove for 2-4 hours. These were proving for just over 3 hours. Oven preheated to 225C, with a baking sheet inside. Transfer loaves to hot baking sheet (gently, today’s bread deflated quite a bit), slash tops, spray with water, into the oven they go, reduced temperature to 180C after ten minutes, then baked for another 20. I also steamed the oven.

While I haven’t tried these yet, the crust is a little softer, which is what I’ve been hoping for. Am loving the River Cottage Bread book but their baking timings do give a very hard crust – fine on a first day but not when you’re baking to last a couple of days.

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