Sourdough bread

Sourdough bread

By
From
Scandinavian Baking
Makes
1 loaf
Photographer
Columbus Leth

I like sourdough bread, but it is not my favourite home-baked loaf. I think it can be difficult to get it right when you’re lacking an industrial oven with integral steam and a lot of power! Don’t get me wrong: this recipe makes an excellent sourdough loaf. But it will not be the same as the sourdough loaves you buy from artisan bakers. They can perfect their loaves, working hard to get every stage of the process exactly right. I don’t think home baking is about that; leave it to the professionals! This is my basic sourdough. It is mostly wheat flour, but you can easily play around and add spelt or einkorn flours to the recipe.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Day 1

Quantity Ingredient
150ml lukewarm water
100ml Wheat-rye biga
or 100ml Wholemeal biga
100g stoneground rye flour
100g strong white flour
coarse polenta, to dust

Day 2

Quantity Ingredient
150ml lukewarm water
350g strong white flour, plus more to dust
10g salt

Method

  1. Day 1

    Mix the water and biga in a bowl, then mix in both flours until you have a smooth, very runny dough. Cover tightly with cling film and leave overnight on the kitchen table.
  2. Day 2

    Put the biga mixture in a big bowl, add the lukewarm water and mix well. Now add the flour and salt and mix well again. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead it. The dough will be sticky, so it is good idea to use a dough scraper to help, or to knead it in a food mixer fitted with a dough hook (let it run for 10 minutes). Place the dough in a big bowl, cover tightly with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for six hours, or until doubled in size.

    Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface, knead lightly and fold into a round bread. Leave in a well-floured 21cm proving basket (or similar-sized colander or bowl lined with a well-floured tea towel), in a warm place, until doubled in size; this should take one or two hours.

    When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 240°C, or to the hottest it will go. Place a baking stone or a sturdy, heavy-based baking sheet lined with baking parchment inside the oven. Take a flat baking sheet dusted with the coarse polenta and tip the loaf out on to it, so the basket pattern is visible on top of the bread. With a razor blade or a sharp knife, slash the top of the bread. Spray cold water into the oven to create steam.

    Place the bread on the baking stone or lined baking sheet, using the flat baking sheet and a jerking motion. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C and bake for 20–25 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Tags:
Trine
Hahnemann
baking
Scandinavia
Scandi
cakes
bread
smorgasbord
cream buns
cake
table
party
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