Fluffy Sourdough Bread 01

I make a loaf of bread every week of so. Each time the recipe and/or method is slightly different depending on the type of bread I want to make, e.g. extra sour or a light and fluffy sandwich loaf. Today’s loaf, Fluffy Bread 01, is my first attempt to make fluffy bread for the Melting Stockpot.

Since realising that yeasty bread and my tummy don’t agree I have grown to love the chewy texture and sour taste of sourdough bread. However, this hasn’t stopped me from wanting to know how to make a light and fluffy sourdough.

Earlier this year, my housemate Simone made a rye sourdough fruit loaf. The bread rose like crazy and I was intrigued. She has added a small amount of honey, spices and dried fruit to the dough. The honey and sugar from the fruit turbo-charged the yeast.

I have since experimented with adding sugar and honey to dough to help it rise quicker and therefore be fluffier. The last loaf I made I added one tablespoon of sugar to the dough.

To start I made a ‘sponge’ using one cup of each sourdough starter, warm water and plain flour. I made the sponge in the morning, covered it and left it for about eight hours.

Once the sponge had grown and was bubbling away I added one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of salt and about 2 cups of flour. The amount of flour you need to add will vary depending on the wetness of your sponge and the type of flour you are using. You want the dough to be firm, but not so dense that electric bread hooks can’t knead it. I added about two cups of flour. Knead the dough with electric bread hooks for 15 minutes or until glossy and elastic.

01 sponge to doughTurn the dough out on to a well-floured bench. Knead the dough, adding flour as necessary until the dough is firm and does not absorb any more flour.

02 flour benchUse your hands to shape the dough and to remove any creases. Place the dough into a lined and greased baking tin and leave overnight to prove.

03 baking tinBake at 170 degrees for 40 minutes. Tip: place a container of water in the oven when baking the bread. This will help with the initial rise of bread whilst baking and give you a thin crunchy crust.

04 breadOutcome: The bread is the fluffiest loaf I have made yet. It rose nicely and was very soft with a thin crunchy crust.

Next time: I want to make a slightly larger batch of this recipe and use my newly acquired sandwich bread tin. Up until now I have been using a cake log tin, which is a bit too small for bread.

Ingredients: 1 cup sourdough starter, 1 cup warm water, 3 cups flour (+ extra), 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt.

Equipment: bowl, bread hooks, baking tin, oven

Steps:

  1. Make the sponge – mix one cup of each sourdough starter and warmer water, then mix in one cup of flour. Leave for eight hours.
  2. Make the dough – to the sponge add salt, sugar and 2 cups of flour. Knead for 15 minutes until glossy and smooth.
  3. Turn the dough on to a well-floured bench and knead until the dough stops absorbing flour.
  4. Shape the dough and place into a lined and greased baking tin. Leave overnight to prove.
  5. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes
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