Flour, salt and water – that’s all – and what a wonderful loaf you get! This recipe uses only a half to a third of the salt you would normally find in bread recipes. And yet it’s enough. If you eat a lot of bread, then be aware that you probably consume a lot more salt than you thought!
Combine all ingredients, and knead in bread machine using the first 15 minutes of the Rapid setting – or by hand, stretching and folding repeatedly for 10 mins minimum.
Transfer to a bowl generously wiped in oil and cover with a cloth or cling-film.
After three hours (or when dough has doubled in size), remove, and place in a non-stick bread pan. Cover, and devise some way of preventing the cover from resting on the dough. [Moving the dough from a bowl to a pan also has the effect of a 'knock-down' which gives a more even texture to the bread. But it is optional and you can place your dough straight into a baking tin and bake when the dough has risen.]
After 3-4 hours when it has risen again to near double size, cook in a preheated oven at 220°C (Gas 7) for 10 minutes, followed by a further 20 minutes at 20°C (Gas 6). The bottom of loaf sounds hollow when baked.
If you don’t have a sourdough starter, see below for a good recipe. It’s important to note the difference between a starter and production sourdough. Keep the starter (at least 50ml) in the fridge until the day before you want to make a loaf. To make a production sourdough, add 125ml water and 125ml white flour minimum to the starter, mix well, leave in a closed container at room temperature, and use for your loaf the following day. After mixing the ingredients for your loaf, return the remaining sourdough to the fridge as a starter for your next loaf.
GRANARY SOURDOUGH LOAF This loaf is made in the same way as the wholemeal loaf
If you don’t have a sourdough starter, here is a recipe from Do Sourdough: Slow Bread for Busy Lives by Andrew Whitley. If you’re interested in sourdough bread, this book is a must! Day one 30g white flour 30g water (at about 20°c or in the airing cupboard) Mix together and leave at room temperature (again about 20°C) for 24 hours. Day two Mix in another 30g of flour and 30g of water and leave for another 24 hours. Days three, four, five and six As day two. Once it’s bubbling up nicely, you can use some of the starter straight away to bake a loaf, or keep in the fridge until needed. To make a starter, organic flour and chlorine-free water are recommended. For the water, use a bottle of spring water, or let the water stand for a few hours so the chlorine evaporates.