300 grams "bubbly" Sourdough starter (100% Hydration)*
500 grams Strong Canadian White bread flour
250 ml water (may require an additional 25 ml dependant on your absorption)
10 grams Sea Salt
10 grams Brown Sugar (Demerara is good)
*For this loaf I use 30g starter from my fridge stock and then make this up to 300 grams (30g starter + 135g flour + 135g water), before letting it develop for 3-8 hours, to double in size, get bubbly and become fully active.
Add the 500g flour, 250ml water, 300g starter and 10g sugar to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Mix it until shaggy and then let it sit for 30-60 minutes (less time in warm conditions and longer for cold - our normal Scottish climate).
Add 1-2 tbsp of water on the top of the dough and sprinkle the 10g of salt onto the loaf (this helps the dough to absorb the salt). Mix together using a series of ¼ turns, stretch and folds. Once the salt is fully mixed in leave the dough in its bowl for the next series of stretch and folds (every 30 minutes) over the next 1-2 hours.
Stretch, Fold and Turn: Give the dough a Stretch, fold and then quarter turn to then Stretch (repeat) for about 12 folds. Repeat this every 30 minutes for approximately 4 times and then check if your dough shows that window pane effect that tells you the dough is ready to relax for a couple of hours.
Pulll the dough into a ball then Proof the dough for 1-2 hours in oiled and covered bowl before shaping. You can put it into the fridge now for retard overnight or wait and put it in once shaped.
Shape the dough and place into container of choice for expansion precook. Proof for 1-2 hours. Check your dough is active or getting ready to cook by using press test.
I don’t always use bannetons but I do frequently use non-stick cooking liners sprinkled with flour that I place within various glass bowls and containers to shape my dough. Works well for me and doesn’t need any outlay or fancy equipment. I do use a pizza stone to bake bread but have also survived many years without using this so it’s not compulsory.
Preheat Oven to 230C. Pre heat oven and any baking stone, baking trays, dutch ovens or any equivalents, if you use them.
Dust top of loaf with flour before scoring with lame or equivalent knife. Then transfer loaf to baking stone. Bake @ 230C for 20 minutes, turn 90 degress to ensure even colouring, and then reduce heat to 180C for 15-20 minutes dependant on oven efficiency and fan circulation.
Check loaf is done by tapping base to get that very satisfying hollow tap sound.
Let rest before enjoying.