This loaf, although it looks and tastes rather marvellous, is not a proper sourdough, it’s yeast aided. I was going to make a proper sourdough loaf but got sidetracked by reading Divergent trilogy (a bit obsessed with dystopian sci fi/ fantasy books at the moment) and forgot to make the sponge before I went to bed. So I started the loaf when I woke up yesterday morning. Early morning bread making usually means that I forget to add ingredients like salt but I was awake enough to think this loaf through. I used 500g flour in total (300g strong white and 200g strong wholemeal), 200g sourdough starter, 1tsp salt, 1 and a 1/2 tsp quick acting yeast and 300ml cold water. Mixed for 1 minute at slow speed in the mixer with a dough hook attachment, then 6 minutes at high speed. Shaped it into a ball with oiled hands, then left, covered in an oiled bowl for an hour. Deflated, shaped again and left for another hour – repeated deflating and shaping four times in total, then deflated one final time, sprinkled with a handful of pumpkin, sesame and poppy seeds and a handful of rolled oats (you can use linseed, sunflower or any other seeds, I used what I had to hand), rolled up tightly, flattened again, blanket folded and shaped into an oval. Coated in rye flour and sprinkled rolled oats on top and left to prove in a banneton. My final prove was 2 hours, after which the loaf went to bake on a hot stone, oven was preheated to 250C for the first 10 minutes then baked for another 30 minutes at 180C. The loaf kept the shape well (it often deflates when I transfer it to the peel) although I found it difficult to slash with the oats on top.
Very happy with the texture and taste. Good crumb too. I had it with just butter, still warm (the best) and slices of fig, which I was about to roast to make ice cream with. Delicious. Will post ice cream recipe later too, it only went into the freezer an hour ago so not quite ready to try yet.