I must stop photographing every loaf I make…I really must…but I’m just so proud of them!!! Each and every one! I’m endlessly amazed that I have created every bit of each loaf by hand, and like giving birth, I can’t help but want to celebrate every creation 🙂
I’ve definitely been bitten by the sourdough bug: I currently have three starters on the go in my kitchen, my original Bodicea, my Bodicea III (from the Paul Hollywood recipe) and a wholemeal spelt one that I haven’t yet named. I feed them daily because I am now using them daily, literally, I am now making sourdough bread every day and the boys are eating it ALL!!
When I first made the starters, they were so bubbly and healthy but my dough wasn’t really rising much; luckily a couple of my lovely fellow bloggers explained that the starters get stronger with age, that really helped me as I thought I was getting something wrong! They are definitely getting stronger daily and creating lovely rises. The spelt starter in particular has performed really well. I really must name her…!
I’ve been making bread daily for them in my breadmaker for a couple of years now, but now I’m making it by hand each day, and if I revert to the breadmaker, Ben complains that it’s BORING bread!! I think I’ve spoilt him…;) so my arm muscles are growing as I knead dough and then slice crusty loaves. Ben even bought me some proving baskets, ‘bannetons’, for my birthday last week, and after seeing Aunt Juju‘s walnut ‘lame’, for scoring the top of the dough prior to baking, I just had to have one…so I’m all set up..
I’ve continued to use Celia and Selmas overnight dough recipe for some of my loaves, but I’ve also been experimenting with utilising the method of making a ‘sponge’ to create the loaf. This method calls for mixing freshly fed starter with some of the flour and water and leaving it to grow and bubble overnight, or for 2-8 hours, then adding more flour and kneading and leaving to prove again, before punching down, leaving for the last prove before baking.
I’ve used this recipe and this one and I’ve created my own version to create smaller daily loaves. I’ve also played around with the cooking temperature and times to get it right for us and I’ve developed my own plan based on my ovens.
So, based on the first link above, I’ve been doing this:
I’ve started off by making a sponge by mixing..
1/2 cup / 90g bubbly starter
1 1/2 cups / 240g white / brown strong bread flour
3/4 cup / 130g warm filtered water
Once roughly mixed, I’ve covered it and left it develop for anything from 2 hours to 12!
Next I’ve added..
1/2 cup / 80g chosen bread flour
Mixed well and kneaded for 3-5 minutes until smooth. I’ve then covered again left to prove from, again, 2 to 12 hours, the longer you leave it, the deeper the flavour becomes.
I’ve then punched the dough down and placed into a well floured proving basket and left to prove, covered, for another 1-2 hours.
I’ve then tipped the dough onto a baking sheet lined with silicone paper, scored the top with my lame, drizzled some drops of water across the top to boost rise and a good crust (another great tip from another lovely blogger, the Frugal Hausfrau, thank you x), and baked at 205-210C (this is based on my fan assisted oven) for 30 minutes. I’ve then propped the oven door open slightly, turned the heat off and left the dough for 5 more minutes, before removing and leaving to cool on a site rack.
And it’s definitely working for me!! And for Ben and Graham and every one of Ben’s friends that are forever at our dinner table! It makes me so proud.
And no, I still don’t eat any 🙂
I hope your week is starting well and you all had a good weekend. This week I am excited to bring you a guest post on Wednesday for my ‘What would you feed me?’ series from one of our most beloved blog friends..see you then..xx