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sourdough bread

Flour, water, salt - perfect sourdough bread every time

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I was given the best-ever starter by my friend Rachel who was given it by her friend Antonio who was given it by his Italian grandmother. The Mother Monster is said to be more than 100 years old and, together with flour from Shipton Mill, is the secret ingredient to the most delicious sourdough bread I have ever made or tasted.

At the moment I'm feeding it No.4 flour, in the past I have fed it rye. I have baked my dough overproved, underproved and just right. Sometimes my bread is utterly beautiful, sometimes less so. Sometimes it is downright ugly. Flour, water salt, baked in a heavy, lidded, cast-iron pot, it invariably tastes great.

I've been baking sourdough bread on and off for about eight years now but under lockdown it has been pretty much every other day. It has become less of a recipe and more of a mood and it means we don't have to think too hard about lunches. The boys just help themselves and everyone is happy.

My current favourite flour is the organic ciabatta flour and I'm very fond of No.4 too. I like throwing in a bit of something else for flavour in greater or lesser proportions depending on how I'm feeling. A bit of dark rye and light rye, a bit of spelt, a bit of kamut and/or some chestnut flour. I'd like to try them all. It's fun playing around with the hydration levels too. And figuring out what to do to get bigger bubbles. 

Added by: Juliet Amissah

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Sourdough therapy

I agree with what you're saying here Juliet. i started baking sourdough just before lockdown and the feeling of being able to provide something for my family, made with love and trying to incorporate good, healthy ingredients from Shipton Mill has been very gratifying. Always a source for discussion and never a complaint from the family who devour everything I bake.

juleswinst@me.com Jules Cary-Williams 28 June 2020

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