When writing the post for Petrie’s First Sourdough Loaf I went in search of a recipe I could link to. What I discovered was that most sourdough recipes use a different process. They create a ‘sponge’, let it sit and then add more flour. I thought I would give it a go.
I found an easy to follow recipe on Pinch My Salt called How to make sourdough bread.
The first step is to make the sponge. The sponge is a soft dough and is made of your sourdough starter, water and flour. I used 1.5 cups sourdough starter, 1 cup warm water and 3 cups flour. It was too firm and so I added another half a cup of warm water.
Start by mixing the water and the sourdough starter, then add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to combine (if you’re lazy like me, use electric bread hooks). When the sponge is well mixed, cover it and let it sit a room temperature for a few hours.
Once the sponge has rested and risen, it is time to add the rest of the flour. Pinch My Salt’s recipe calls for an additional 2 to 3 cups of flour, or until it is too hard to keep mixing with a wooden spoon. I was only able to add 1.5 cups before my dough got to this point.
Knead the dough on a well floured bench.
As I look back on the recipe for a reminder of what I need to put in this post, I discovered it is at this point that I stopped following it.
The recipe calls for kneading the dough for three minutes and then letting it rest for ten, before continuing to knead until stretchy and elastic. The recipe then says to let the dough rest and rise in an oiled bowl.
Between making the sponge and the dough my housemate and I went to the pub. I think this may be an important factor in why I unintentionally stopped following the recipe!
So what did I do? I started by spreading half a cup of flour on the bench and then scraped the sponge out of the bowl and onto the bench. I spread another half cup of flour on top of the oozey sponge and then started to knead. Whilst kneading I added another half cup of flour and continued kneading until it was stretchy and elastic. I then split the dough in two, shaped one into a Vienna style loaf and divide the other half in quarters to make bread rolls. I covered the dough and left it to rise overnight.
I wanted to see if making the cuts before the dough proves would also work. I cut the loaf before proving and the bread rolls after. It made no difference.
Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for approximately 20 minutes.
What I like about this recipe is it produces enough dough for two small loaves. This time I made one loaf and four bread rolls. Next time I might try making cheese scrolls.
Ingredients: 1.5 cups sourdough starter, 1.5 cups warm water, 4.5 cups flour
Equipment: bowl, measuring cup, electric bread hooks, oven tray, oven
- Mix the warm water and sourdough starter together, add three cups of flour and mix (I used the electric bread hooks), cover and leave to prove
- Mix in the additional flour until it is too firm to mix with a wooden spoon (I added 1.5 cups at this point, but you may need more or less)
- Knead the dough until it is stretchy and elastic
- Shape the dough to suit your needs (I made a Vienna loaf and four bread rolls), place the dough on oven trays, cover and leave to prove overnight
- Make cuts in the top of the bread and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes.