Sourdough Bread part 1
January 25, 2010 by silverbeet
I am posting these photos for @tammois (Tammi), to show her some of the breadmaking process that happens in my kitchen on a regular basis. My method is inspired by Dan Lepard’s technique – see ‘The Handmade Loaf”. This post is probably temporary – I’ll put some of the content into another post I’m still planning.
Two big loaves will come from today’s batch, based on 1kg flour: Laucke bakers flour (unbleached and very good). Today I used oatbran bits, leftover whey and some raw milk that had soured and needed to go. And our bees’ honey. I did also sneak in a bit of instant yeast, as insurance, for two reasons: my leaven had been refrigerated for a couple of days, and was refreshed again only late last night. And I was a little concerned about what all that sour milk would do to the leaven. So…
Firstly I tare my plastic bowl on my digital scales, add the leaven and liquids (by weight). I whisk it vigourously, re-tare and then add flour and salt. Then mix by hand.
This is the dough just after it has been mixed. I hold the bowl with one hand and use the other hand to mix, starting in the liquid pool and swirling the flour in gradually. It sits like this in the bowl for 10 minutes.
After 10mins, it's time for the first knead. The plastic bench/dough scraper is great for emptying the dough onto the bench and then for lifting the dough as you do the first knead. The knead is 10-20 secs only!
This is the dough after the first brief knead. It sits on the bench for a further 10 mins, while I go and do other things, including cleaning and oiling the bowl.
Now to oil the bench. I use my hands to spread it out - that saves my hands from drying, and gets some oil into the dough.
This is the dough after the second 10-20 sec knead. It has been returned to the clean, oiled bowl.
After another 10 minute wait (kitchen cleanup time), the third short knead is complete. The bench is clean, because I just roll the dough over it to pick up any remaining flour. The oil is good for the wood.
The dough then goes into the bowl, covered, for 30 mins before another short knead. Then the length of time between (short) kneads/ dough turning is lengthened, until it’s time to shape. (A future blogpost)
Notice the refreshed leaven, below. I weigh everything with digital scales – it’s so much easier. The ratio of flour to water added to the leaven is 5 to 4, by weight.