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Don’t despair sourdough

Crusty white dutch pot cooked sour dough - if you have ever despaired at making your sour dough rise despair no longer, i was once you, but this is my perfected technique!

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150g wholemeal fed sour dough starter

400g filtered water (chlorine kills good bacteria)

700g shipton mill white bread flour

10g salt


Starter: i feed my starter 75g of wholemeal flour and 75g of water after i have used it, pop it in fridge and it is ready for when i need it 3 to 4 days later. having got it active i no longer need to discard any starter, it is always ready to bake. You know when it is bubbly enough because it will float when you spoon it into the water. I think using filtered water is the key as chlorine in water kills the starter good bacteria.


i start this process the night 36 hours before i intend to bake.

Put the water and starter into a kenwood bowl, mix with a spoon before adding 500g of the flour. Cover and leave in fridge over night.

The following morning Add the remaining flour and salt into the bowl and beat for 10 minutes with the dough hook in a Kenwood mixer or equivalent.

Follow this by hand kneading For 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball smooth olive oil over and placed in bowl, cover and leave Somewhere warm.

Two hours later, approximately, take the dough out, stretch the edges out onto an oiled wooden surface then fold the edges into the centre of the dough to reform into a tight ball. Turn so that domed side is up and smooth your hands methodically down from top, curving under the dough to form a nice shaped ball. Place back in bowl, cover and leave again.

repeat the above stretching and reforming at least three times throughout the day, as fits in with your day. i usually end up doing it every 2 to 4 hours depending how busy I am. As you stretch and then re-form the dough you should be trapping air into the mixture  and as the day progresses you should start to see hair bubbles forming in the dough.

At the end of the day stretch and form you're dough for the last time into a nice tight ball and place in a proving basket or even just a mixing bowl, I line mine with greaseproof paper and sprinkle with a little wholemeal flour so that it doesn't stick. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning Place a cast iron casserole pot like a le creuset into an electric oven and heat to the maximum temperature. When the oven has reached temperature turn your dough out onto a second piece of greaseproof paper, take the pot and lid out and slowly Lower the dough into the pot and replace the lid.

Place in the oven And cook at full temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, lower the heat to 200°C fan or 220 if not fan oven, and cook for a further 20 minutes. Then take the whole pot out empty the loaf onto the side and replace the loaf Into the oven just on the bare shelves. Lower the temperature to 180° fan or 200 C if your oven is not fan and cook for a further 20 minutes. One hour in total.

This should give you a perfectly risen and crusty loaf with a delicious Tangy flavour!

Added by: Elissa Palser

Tags: Bread Sourdough

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