Skip to main content

Making Organic Sourdough

After many years of bread making, I have finally learned (thanks to Sara at Cotna Eco Retreat) how to make sourdough this year - using a wonderful old starter made from organic rye flour and pure spring water.
As usual, I've tweaked the original bread recipe just because I like to make things simple and we both prefer denser breads. 

♥ Scroll down for the recipe ♥

Feeding the starter.
I keep the starter in the fridge until ready to use, then add organic rye flour and warm water.

This is how it looks when mixed in...

And this is after around 8 hours.

The starter gets added to the other bread ingredients and forms the dough. 
I use Shipton Mill organic flours and mix it up for variety.
Our favourites are stoneground wholemeal, extra coarse wholemeal, wholemeal spelt, light malthouse and dark rye.

This is how it looks after being left usually overnight.

I line the banneton (proofing basket)
I like to use polenta and sesame seeds, instead of the traditional semolina.

The dough after another gentle knead. 
This gets placed into the banneton upside down.

Turn the dough out on to a baking sheet.
 Put a slit in top and I usually sprinkle with water before putting in the oven.

The longer the dough has been standing, the more likely it is to crack during baking...
But it still tastes great!!!

Sourdough Recipe 
*You will need a starter for this recipe, which is used instead of yeast.*
I am lucky to have been given a 100 year old starter which just needs feeding, but you can make a starter from 50% flour and 50% water... I would try 150g rye flour and measure out on the scales the same amount of warm (body temp) water. Leave out for a couple of days, then feed it with the same ingredients again and leave until it's really active. At this point it's ready to use.
   
  1. Into a large mixing bowl put 500g bread flour (can be just one flour or a mixture of your favourites).
  2. Add approx 2 tbsp seeds - I use pumpkin and sunflower mostly and approx 3 tsp sea salt. Mix together.
  3. Add 250g starter (and put the remainder of starter in the fridge for next time) and measure out on the scales 300g warm water (again body temp).
  4. Mix all the ingredients together into a dough, firstly with a metal spoon and then use your hands. There are lots of videos to watch about kneading bread, so go for it! I knead the bread in the bowl just for simplicity and sometimes need to add extra flour if the mixture is too wet. Leave the dough covered with a damp tea towel for several hours (overnight is good) in a cool place.
  5. Prepare a banneton...sprinkle semolina or polenta into the grooves and I like to add sesame seeds too.You can also use a loaf tin - line it with baking paper. 
  6. Gently fold the dough into the shape you require and if using a banneton, pop the dough in upside down. If using a tin, just put it in the right way up. Leave covered for another couple of hours ...I usually do this stage early in the morning, so we have fresh bread for breakfast.
  7. Put your oven on 240C or Gas 8, turn the dough out of the banneton on to a lined baking sheet and if using a loaf tin - leave it in. Slit the top and either lightly sprinkle with water or put a dish of water into the bottom of the oven.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then rotate the loaf and turn the temperature down to 180C/Gas 4. Bake for another 25 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool...it's ready to eat after around 15 mins.           

Enjoy and let me know how you get on.

Kay xx


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Take Time

How often do you take time to be thoughtful and quiet? To breathe and be in nature? Do you start your day slowly, even when busy? 
We like to spend our mornings gently waking - reading to each other, writing, sometimes singing, making breakfast and taking time to leisurely eat and digest our food before we begin our day. We choose to live in the slow lane, from where we observe others rushing through their days, often stressed and with a need to fill every moment doing what they consider to be meaningful.  We feel no guilt in being lazy and happily sit around chatting instead of doing what we loosely planned to do. You may think it's procrastination, but we prefer to think of it as "going with the flow". There is more to life than filling your days with stuff, working hard, keeping up with your neighbours and it's not until you get off that treadmill that you can see for yourself just how great life can be. Part of the process for us in slowing down was to write mor…

Soil, Soul and Society

Please take some time to watch this video.
Take some time to look at your life and learn how to live differently.

If  you are unhappy, make changes to your life.
Find gratitude in each day.

Try not to criticise others and instead feel compassion.

Enjoy time in nature.
Be quiet and calm.

There is so much anger and stress surrounding many of you out there at the moment...
Take care of yourselves, take time out from the news and stop worrying about how many times your neighbours are venturing out. Occupy yourselves doing something new and interesting instead.

Most of our days are spent weeding, planting, cooking and eating.
We go to bed earlier than we have done in years, usually aching...pleasantly so though!
We are learning about growing vegetables, enjoying playing with soil and it feels good spending lots of time out on the land.



Sending you all much love,

Kay and Sime xx





Nettles

Our garden yesterday.
Tall Nettles TALL nettles cover up, as they have done These many springs, the rusty harrow, the plough Long worn out, and the roller made of stone: Only the elm butt tops the nettles now.
This corner of the farmyard I like most: As well as any bloom upon a flower I like the dust on the nettles, never lost Except to prove the sweetness of a shower.
~ Edward Thomas ~
Every time we venture out to pick nettles, Sime always goes on about this poem!

Anyway, thought I'd share with you the article I've written for next month's Parish Magazine...


Our hedgerows are coming alive with food aplenty, but hardly anyone really notices the nettles that surround us, they grow quietly while using their juices to produce a medicine that can bring health. Anaemia, arthritis, rickets, tuberculosis, respiratory diseases, colds, catarrh & lymphatic problems can all benefit from this wonderful wild & free super food.
Nettles are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus, potass…