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Vegan Sourdough using San Francisco style method

Ingredients for the starter sponge: Stage 1

1/4 tablespoon Rye or Wholemeal flour

100g Strong White No. 4

100g Alpro plain youghurt

50ml apple juice

25g grapes or raisins

Ingredients for the refreshment mix:

38g Alpro plain youghurt

38g Soya milk

Balance of flour:

100g Strong White No. 4

This makes about 330g starter when it's finished. Use 300g for the loaf and 30g to keep as a starter.

Put all stage 1 ingredients in a bowl and beat for 10 minutes, then add grapes/raisins

Leave in bowl in a warm place for 24 hours.

Strain out the fruit then whisk in the refreshment and leave in a warm place for 24 hours.

Final bit of stage 1

Mix in the balance of the flour - then leave again for 24 hours - it's then ready for the final steps

Next - The Sponge

400g Strong White No. 4

500ml Water

300g of the above starter

Dough. ( good tip is to start early in the day)

400g Strong White No. 4

1 tablespoon of salt.

Put the Sponge ingredients in a bowl. Mix with a hand whisk. Cover and leave 4 - 5 hours. The mix should be bubbling and working well.

Pour the working mixture into a mixer and add half the remaining flour, beat with a dough attachment for about 6-8 minutes. Now add the salt and the rest of the flour and beat for another 6 - 8 minutes .

Turn out onto a work surface (I either wet my hands and the surface, or use oil. Both methods work)

Cover with a damp cloth and leave for about an hour.

Now gently fold the dough. Stretch sides and bring over to about one third of the dough, do the same the other side. Then turn dough and fold in half. Cover and leave for another hour.

Repeat this for the next two hours on the hour - 3 times in total.

Finally divide the dough into two peices and shape. Put into well floured proving baskets for 3-4 hours til well risen.

Pre heat the oven to 250°C

There are different ways of actually baking. I use a clay oven inside my oven and heat it up inside the oven whilst it's pre-heating.

I take the lid off the clay oven (use an oven glove as it's hot) and put the base over my proving basket. Tip over and remove the basket. Slash loaf if required. Replace the lid and place into the oven for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes take the lid off and bake for further 15 - 20 minutes.

Repeat with the second loaf.

Cool before eating.

This recipe is long winded but really worth the effort.