Monday, 27 February 2012

more sourdough

Since my last post about bread-making I have continued to make bread regularly. We have had hardly any bought bread in that time. On the whole I have stuck with the same basic recipe, just varying the flour and trying both fast action dried yeast and fresh yeast and generally using a measure of the sourdough starter as well. The results have been good - a dough which rises surprisingly quickly and a fairly consistent, even-textured loaf.

Yesterday I decided it was time to branch out and make a different style of loaf, so I flicked through my book and settled on Pain de Campagne a rustic French style bread which uses just the sourdough starter and no additional yeast. After my previous experience with the sourdough solo I was a little anxious about whether it would work and warned Steve that he might have to go out and buy his breakfast bread today!

I was pleasantly surprised because it did in fact rise quite well. It was slow, and I went to bed rather later than I had planned, but I was very pleased with the final loaf. The recipe creates quite a slack dough and I resisted the temptation to add more flour, using the French-style stretching and throwing kneading technique that I learned at a workshop with Mark of Mark's Bread.

Because the dough is rather formless it needs support during its second proving so I sat it in a colander lined with a well floured tea towel. The trick then is to turn it out quickly on to a pre-heated baking tray and slam it into a hot oven before it has a chance to collapse.

This loaf has the more airy uneven texture of artisan bread and a very good flavour.


  1. Wow, I could almost smell how good your bread was!

  2. Mark had better watch out. Your loaf looks every bit as good as his.

  3. This looks so utterly, mouth wateringly delicious ... I think I have bread envy!