The Great Homemade Sourdough Bread Challenge – bake day

And when I say bake day, I mean bake DAY! If you would like to eat this bread today, I suggest either getting up very early to make it, or leaving it for the weekend.

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. If you haven’t got any ice cubes in the freezer, prepare a couple of trays now, so that they will be ready by the time the bread goes into the oven to bake.
  2. Place the flour and culture in a large bowl.  Add the water and salt, and mix until combined.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead well, until the wet dough becomes less moist and looks more like this .
  4. When the dough becomes stretchy, place in a bowl and leave to prove in a warm place for about 2 hours.
  5. Turn out the dough again on a floured surface. Lightly knead and shape into a ball.
  6. Place the dough in a floured loaf tin or basket. Cover with a clean tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place to prove again, this time for 8-12 hours. (Yes 8-12 hours, hence making this bread is a weekend project!)
  7. After proving, preheat the oven to gas mark 9 – basically as hot as your oven can get. If you have a baking stone, place in the oven to heat up.  You can use a baking tray as an alternative, but I suggest using an old one.
  8. When the oven has heated up, about 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven, carefully turn out the dough on to the hot stone or baking tray.
  9. Make a couple of slits on the top of the dough with a sharp knife, and place in the oven to bake.
  10. Place in a shallow dish some cold water and as many ice cubes as you can. Place this dish on the bottom of the oven.  The water and ice will create steam, allowing the bread to form a lovely crust.
  11. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the bread has a golden brown crust, and makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.

Serve warm with butter and cheese.

More photos and a taste verdict tomorrow 🙂 I’m off for a well earned cup of tea.

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