If you started your sourdough starter after reading my last post then it will be pretty much ready to bake the most delicious loaf of bread. I promise you that the wait to get to this point has been well worth it! The loaf you are about to make will have a crunchy crust and the inside will be chewy and moist with a delicious sour, tangy flavour. Freddie now prefers this sourdough to our regular wholemeal loaf!
I have spent the last month experimenting on our family with different recipes and ways of making a sourdough, trying out using a sponge, knocking back, rising and proving times. I think my husband is totally over me talking about sourdough! Then I stumbled across the concept of a no-knead sourdough loaf on a blog called Nourished Kitchen as my loaf seemed to look perfect until I knocked it back I decided to leave out kneading and knocking back my dough the next time… the result was quite delicious.
Given the no-knead sourdough turned out so well I’ve decided there really is no reason to spend 1/2 an hour kneading it trying to pass the window pane test – who has the time for that most days anyway! So here you are my perfected ultimate no-knead wholemeal sourdough.
The best thing about a no-knead recipe is that, with very little effort, the long rising period does all the work for you. It gives the bread it’s distinctive taste, creates large airy holes, lowers the loaf’s GI and deactivates the phytic acid which means you are able to digest the bread more easily and access more of the nutrients in the loaf.
The key to getting this loaf perfect is to try not to over handle it or be tempted to make the dough too dry. As this loaf is 100% wholemeal it will be denser and won’t have as large air holes as white or mixed flour loaves. More recipes coming so watch this space – my favourite ones so far is the fruit loaf and sourdough pancakes.
1 cup sourdough starter
11/2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
400g wholemeal flour
Oil for coating
Mix the above ingredients except the oil in a large bowl.
It should feel sticky but not runny – what is called a shaggy dough! You might find you need slightly more or less flour depending on how runny your sourdough is and also how humid your kitchen is – Sydney has been really humid recently and that definitely made a difference to the dough texture by the morning.
Make the dough into a ball and coat with olive oil then place in a bowl overnight covered with cling film.
In the morning fold twice and shape into the loaf shape you want. You can either make a boule or place the dough into a loaf pan. The key to a good sourdough loaf is aim for minimal handling so try and be very gentle.
Leave the loaf to rise until it has doubled in size – about 5 hours. If making a boule once you’ve shaped your dough place it into a shallow bowl, lined with a teatowel sprinkled with flour to rise.
Heat the oven to 250 ‘C.
Place the pizza stone in the oven to heat up if you are making a traditionally shaped loaf rather than using a loaf pan. Boil water in the kettle and fill a 15 x 30cm roasting pan to the brim. Place the roasting pan in the oven and take out the pizza stone.
Sprinkle the stone with flour and gently place loaf on the stone. Score a pattern in the top of your loaf and as fast as possible put back into the oven so the steam doesn’t escape! Or simply place the loaf pan straight into the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes then turn heat down to 200 ‘C and bake for 30-40 minutes until hollow when you tap the bottom.
If you can resist leave the loaf to cool before slicing it.
Enjoy! Delicious with lashings of butter and marmalade, honey or marmite or try it with eggs for breakfast or cream cheese and caramelised onions. The perfect accompaniment to soups. How do you enjoy eating your sourdough?
If you’ve enjoyed this post don’t forget to vote for Freddie’s Food in the People’s Choice Best Australian Blogs 2014.
If you are wanting to try out some other sourdough recipes check out these great sites:
Kate Day x