Sourdough bread is made from naturally occurring yeast and lactic acid bacteria in organic rye flour. It is often used for naming bread made using the culture. Yeasts and bacteria suitable for bread production are found in relatively high amounts on the surface of cereal grains, such as wheat. By grinding the grains into flour and allowing these micro-organisms to thrive, by adding non-fluoride water and keeping the mix at an appropriate temperature. Then each day, provide food in the form of more flour and water, once a day to create what is known as a ‘SOURDOUGH STARTER’.
The Sourdough Starter takes 10 days to make. Feed starter with more flour and water with each feed because yeast cells require more food.
If you do not bake every week and do not want to feed your starter every day and end up with lots of Sourdough Starter, keep it in the fridge. The low temperature of the fridge will make your starter inactive, as it slows down fermentation and will only require feeding with flour and water once a week.
Sometimes some of the Starter can separate, leaving a layer of liquid on top. This is normal and simply drain off and discard any liquid before use. To use Sourdough that has been in the fridge, simply repeat the activation process.
- Organic Wholegrain Spelt Flour
- Distilled Water or Rain Water (NB: do not use fluoridated water from mains tap, as it will prevent fermentation of starter).
- In a bowl, add 3 tablespoons of organic flour, and 2 tablespoons water. Mix thoroughly, until smooth.
- Cover container with a plastic film, preferably clingfilm and then poke some holes in clingfilm using a fork. This will allow the sourdough starter to breath oxygen.
- Put the container on the kitchen side for 3 – 4 days.
- On the 3rd or 4th, you may see a few bubbles. Feed Starter every day with flour and water to activate the yeast. Add 3 tablespoons organic flour and 2 tablespoons water. Mix thoroughly until smooth. Pour into a clean container. Cover with clingfilm. Pierce clingfilm with a fork to allow oxidation.
- The next day, add 6 tablespoons organic flour and 4 tablespoons water. Mix together until smooth. Then the following day, double the amount of flour and water to the amount of Starter in the container.
- On the 10th day, the Starter is ready when it doubles in size within 2 hours.
This is a freehand sourdough bread recipe. Just add flour to diluted Starter until it forms into a soft dough. Then knead dough for 10 minutes on a floured work surface.
- 2 cups of Homemade Sourdough Starter
- 2 cups water
- 1kg White Strong Bread Flour
- 2 -4 teaspoon Himalayan Salt
- 2 – 4 tablespoons Sugar
- Pour 2 cups of Sourdough Starter into a large bowl. Add 2 cups of water. Then mix together until liquified.
- Add 2-4 tbsp sugar and 2-4 tsp salt. Mix thoroughly together for a minute until sugar and salt are dissolved into the starter mixture.
- Sieve the flour into the liquefied mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. Continuously add flour, and keep on mixing until the mixture forms into a soft dough. Then use your hand to mix dough for 2 minutes.
- Turn out dough onto a clean floured work surface. Knead the dough by stretching with the palm of the hand. Continue stretching dough for 10-15 minutes. Add flour when the dough is sticky and continue kneading.
- Hand roll dough into a ball and place in a clean bowl. Cover bowl with clingfilm. Leave on a work surface for 8 – 12 hours or overnight for the dough to double in size.
- Then tip out on a work surface. Wet your hands and knead the dough again. When dough becomes sticky, wet your hands and knead the dough.
- Cut dough into sections. Wet your hands again and roll dough into a ball by tucking in underneath.
- Line an ovenproof container with greaseproof paper. Place dough inside. Cover with a lid. Then allow rising again for 3-8 hours until it passes the poke test.
- Pre-heat oven at 230ºC / 450 F /Gas mark 8.
- Bake bread with the lid on, to keep in moisture, for 25 to 30 minutes. Then take the lid off and bake bread for another 10-20 minutes for a crusty top.
- Once bread is baked, tip the bread out on a wire mesh stand and allow the temperature of the bread to cool.
- Once cooled, the bread is now ready to cut and eat.