It turns out that sourdough focaccia is my new favourite go-to bread to make!
Cast iron pot / Dutch oven
Oval proofing basket
Greaseproof baking paper
Razor blade or a very sharp knife
250g sourdough starter
450g strong white flour (or a combination of 75% white & 25% other flour)
70g boiling water
180g cold water
A handful of mixed seeds (optional)
A tablespoon of honey (optional)
Wire cooling rack
A handful rice flour for dusting proofing bowl - works a treat!
A handful of strong white flour for surface & dough dusting.
Mix the cold & boiling water in the mixing bowl & then add the sourdough starter & give it a good mix. Next combine the flour until roughly all mixed. Cover the bowl with clingfilm & set aside for an hour.
After an hour add the salt, seeds & honey (if using).
With a damp hand, fold the dough repeatedly for a few minutes until all of the ingredients are well mixed together. Keep working in if it's lumpy.
Once mixed, cover with clingfilm & set aside for another 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, peel back cling film & with damp hands grab the edge of on side of the dough, stretch up & fold the dough over to the other side. Do this for 4 sides of the dough (top, bottom, left & right). This adds air in to it.
Repeat this 4 times every 30-45 minutes at room temperature.
Get a small handfull of rice flour & dust the proofing bowl.
Sprinkle half a handful of strong white flour on to a surface.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl with your fingers (or a dough scraper if you have one) on to the dusted surface (trying to keep the dough intact as we don't want to knock the air out of it)
Lightly rub the other half a handful of strong white flour all over the top of the dough.
Pull & then fold the sides of the dough in to the centre (top, bottom, left & right).
Flip the dough upside down & tuck the underneath in to give a tight dough surface.
Flip this back up & in to the proofing basket so that the tight surface is facing down & lightly pat down.
Any flour remaining on the table can be sprinkled over the dough.
Cover with the cling film & then the proofing basket linen cloth or an elastic band to keep the clingfilm sealing the basket if your basket doesn’t have the cloth.
Place the basket in the fridge overnight.
Place the cast iron pot in the oven & pre-heat at full temperature (Approximately 250 degrees celsius) until it has reached the highest temperature (usually about 20 minutes).
Cut the greaseproof paper to just bigger than the proofing bowl & lay on to a flat surface.
Remove the casserole pot from the oven.
Tip the proofing bowl upside down on to the greaseproof paper & with the razor blade, slash your pattern of choice in to the dough. This allows the steam to release & stops the bread splitting.
Remove the lid of the casserole pot & with the spatula under the paper & other hand holding the other side of the paper, lift & carefully place in to the very hot pot.
Replace the lid & put back in to the oven for roughly 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, turn the oven down to 180 degrees Celsius & remove the lid from the pot & bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is nicely browned.
Remove from pot & leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack – As tempting as it is to cut in, leave for at least an hour!
Enjoy – Eat repeat, eat repeat, eat repeat.. and so on!
Added by: Kris McReynolds
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