Sourdough bread

Bit of a mishap with sourdough yesterday, it came out more of a ‘flatbread’:

I made it yesterday and think I’ve either not rolled it up tightly enough before shaping or, perhaps I didn’t knead enough. The dough rose but it also expanded too much width wise so by the time it came to transferring it onto baking sheet, it completely deflated in my hands. Gutted. Still, the actual bread is pretty decent, good crumb, bit of air but not too much inside and, considering I was about to start kneading (oiled hands and all that) before realising I’d forgotten to add salt (again!), it tastes pretty good. This is what it looks like in the middle (please note that I cannot cut a straight line…):

I used 400g strong white and 200g strong wholemeal flour, 360ml water (60% of total flour weight), tablespoon of salt and ladleful of sourdough starter. I also use River Cottage kneading/ proving method – knead for around 15 minutes, shape into a ball, leave for an hour, then deflate, shape and leave again and repeat deflating twice more, before the final shaping, rolling in rye flour and leaving to prove between 2.5 and 4 hours (mine proved for just over 3 hours).

I’d like to try Dan Lepard’s general method next time – combine ingredients, leave for 10 minutes then knead very briefly and repeat brief kneading after half an hour. See if it makes more of a vertical and not horizontal rise. Just had a thought – I’ve had the sourdough starter going for about 5 months now and have made bread with it most weekends. If someone told me at the start of the year I’d be doing that, I really don’t think I’d believe them!

Think we shall have some for breakfast with scrambled eggs and bacon and then go out. Looks like it’ll be sunny all day, a lovely day for a walk, which we are going to combine with Christmas present shopping.


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