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Malted Sourdough

Use your basic sourdough starter, and from this make a leaven. I find it best to get the starter active by a feed in the early evening and let it do it’s stuff overnight, then make the leaven first thing the next morning so it’s airy and well expanded a few hours afterwards, ready to be used.

For the Leaven

50g mature starter which has been at room temperature for around 12 to 24 hours since it's last feeding

50g water at 30-35 degrees C

25g strong white flour

25g whole-wheat flour

mix the ingredients, and leave until it doubles in size. It's now ready to use. This will take around 2 to 4 hours

For the Bread.

350g strong white bread flour

100g wholewheat flour

50g light rye flour

350g water at around 35degrees C

150g of the leaven (above)

25g malted rye grain plus 25g pumpkin seeds that have all been soaked for 10mins in 50g hot water (use enough water to just cover them, it’s ok to add a little more or less)

1 Tablespoon malt/barley extract

10g fine sea salt

Make the dough

Pour the water into a bowl, add the leaven and dissolve with your fingers.

Add the malted rye and seeds including any of the leftover water in the bowl.

Add the malt/barley extract.

Add the flour and mix together with your hands or a spoon.

Cover the bowl and let it sit for 30mins.

Mix in the salt.

Pinch the dough to break the gluten structure. Gather the dough and create a basic ball in the bowl.

Let it rest for 30 minutes.

With wet hands, fold and pull the dough over itself a few times, until you feel it resisting. Stretching the dough strengthens the gluten structure.

Rest for 30 minutes in the bowl covered with a shower cap.

Repeat this process a further 3 times.

After the final fold, leave the dough in the bowl for around 3 to 5 hours, until visibly expanded. The time depends on the warmth of the place you are in, the warmer it is, the quicker the dough will rise.

Remove the dough, and on a lightly floured surface, pull and fold the dough, tucking it under itself, create a ball.

Carefully, place the ball of dough into a floured baneton (I use rice flour inside the baneton as it helps prevent the dough from sticking) and leave covered until it starts to rise a little, about an hour, a little more if it’s cool, aim for the dough to rise just below the top of the baneton.

Place covered in a refrigerator and leave overnight, between 12 and 24 hours.

Bake the bread

Pre heat the oven to 250 degrees C when you're ready to bake with the baking dish, tray or Dutch oven inside.

Carefully turn the dough out on to the baking sheet or vessel you're using to bake the bread, and slash with a blade to allow the bread to rise and release steam, cracking open along the slash. (I turn my dough on to a piece of baking parchment cut in to a round, slightly larger than the dough itself, and using a peel, or a strip of foil underneath, lift the dough and lower it in to the hot Dutch oven if you’re using one, or on to the hot baking sheet).

Pour some hot water in a tray at the bottom of the oven to create steam, or place the lid on the Dutch oven.

Bake for 20 mins at 250c

Remove the water tray, or take off the lid of the Dutch oven, reduce temperature to 215c and bake until it's the colour you want, dark is best, and should take another 30 mins or so.

Remove and cool on a wire rack.