Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Here's a very easy recipe for all those who want to start baking with sourdough. It's perhaps cheating a bit to use yeast in the first starter dough - but who cares. The results are amazing, yielding large fluffy breads with a dense and soft crumb, and crispy thick crusts. Perfect for toast!
2 g fresh yeast
150 ml cold water
200 g flour
15 g fresh yeast
500 ml tepid water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 kilo flour
1 1/2 tbsp salt
On day one, stir together yeast, cold water and flour into a soft dough. Cover with plastic and leave at room temperature for three days.
On day four, crumble the yeast, and mix it with the tepid water and the olive oil. Add the starter dough (which should look creamy and bubbly) and flour - gradually - and mix well for five minutes. (A bread machine sure comes in handy, but you can definitely do it by hand if you prefer that.) Add salt and knead for five more minutes. The dough should be firm, elastic and not sticky. Form into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and leave to rise for one hour or until roughly doubled in size.
Take the ball of dough and divide into two equal parts. Shape each, without overworking it, into a loaf. Place loaves on a baking sheet. You can place a rolled up tea towel in between them to make sure they don't rise into each other. Cover, and leave to rise for one more hour.
Preheat oven to 250°C. When ready to bake, cut a few slits in each loaf - I like a floral design - and place in the hot oven. Spray with lots of water to achieve steam - this will help with getting the crust nice and hard. After five minutes, lower temperature to 175°C, and bake for an additional 40 minutes.