6-12 hours before mixing dough together make your Sourdough Sponge:
100g sourdough starter
100g white bread flour
100g cold water
Cover the bowl with sheets of plastic, a lid or a slightly damp towel.
The sponge should be acitve, bubbly and have a strong sour yeasty smell when you uncover it after 6-12 hrs.
300g sourdough sponge
450g cold water
650g white bread flour
10-20g salt (to your preference)
20g malted wheat flakes (optional)
Once the ingredients are mixed together to form a loose dough, turn out onto a floured worktop and knead for 10 min, forming a soft dough which may be slightly wet. Prove covered in oiled bowl for 1.5 hrs, knead again for 5 min, making sure you fully stretch out the dough and fold it back in on itself again and again to help the yeast produce air pockets; prove covered in oiled bowl for 2.5 hrs. Turn out onto floured workbench but do not knead, simply shape into 2 loaves and leave to prove for a further 4 - 5 hrs checking the rise often after 4 hrs.
Heat oven to 220*C ideally a baking stone allows for the best crispy crust texture but is not the only way to acheive a crisp crust.
When the loaves are ready for baking, slash them artfully across the tops and spray a fine mist of cold water onto them.
Bake both on a metal tray for 40 min or in identical tins together for 50 min. If baking on an oven stone, I recommend baking one at a time for 45 min each.
Allow to cool completely on wire rack (about 1.5hrs) before slicing.