Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sour Dough Loaf - Basic

This loaf is rather special, it is made from a culture that sat on the kitchen bench for 3 days. During this time it wasn't fed or stirred. I did this as I want to post some culture to a friend, who lives in South Australia. I needed to know that the culture would survive the trip. So after 3 days I followed the following process to make a loaf. The result is in the pictures above. The only difference that I noticed was that the 2nd. rise in the cooking dish, took a bit longer. It is also important that the 1st. 1/2 hour of cooking is in a covered dish.

220g Warm filtered water
250g bread mix (I use Laucke), if just flour add 2 teaspoons of both salt and sugar.
Additional 300g flour, to be added later
220 Sour Dough culture, should be the consistency of thick pancake mix

When culture arrives by post, pour into a large glass jar with lid.
Immediately feed with 1/2 cup of bread flour and 1/2 cup of filtered water. stir until smooth. Leave at room temp and feed for the next 2 days. ( 3 days ) This will activate the culture. If you don't wish to make bread the next day, put the lid on and refrigerate. Feed weekly.
If you wish to make bread immediately, remove the amount of culture required, feed the culture ( in the jar again and leave at room temp for a couple of hours before refrigerating.)

Add the above ingredients ( except the additional flour to the TMX bowl and knead at interval for 5 mins. Leave in bowl or tip into a container to prove for 18 hours. (I usually do this mixing at 4.00pm, and then it can prove over night and be ready at 10.00am. next day. The dough will be very wet and should be covered with plastic while it rises. It should almost double.
Next day, at 10.00am, Knead for 2 mins in TMX, adding the additional flour.
Tip onto Thermo mat and fold dough over several times. It is messy getting it out of the bowl.Add more flour to make handling easier.
Prepare baking dish. It should be one with lid, or dough formed on baking sheet so that a lid can be placed over it, and allowing it to grow to 3 times what you have formed. It is wise to oil and line, with baking paper , the dish.
Sit covered dish, with plastic, in a warm spot for it to double. This may take up to 4 hours, depending on temp of room.
Preheat oven to 220.
Spray bread with water or egg wash and then put lid on bread and into oven.
Cook for 30 mins. with lid on, remove lid and cook for a further 30 mins.

This gives a large loaf, but 1/2 mix can be made
If a cooking container with lid is not available, then a 'tent' of foil can be placed over the dough. It is not as good as a lid, but does keep some steam in to give a final 'bounce'
This bread freezes very well.

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