(Skip to the Recipe)
The year before last I made a resolution that I would make sourdough bread. Then last January I made a resolution to make sourdough bread before 2015. Success!
The wonderful Celia from figjamandlimecordial.com heard I was struggling with failed starters and offered to send me some of her Priscilla starter. The first thing I did was rename it Esmerelda Pissemeyer.
I’ve shared with you before that when my kids were little and yelled MOM!! all day long for me to get a drink of water or come and watch me act silly while I was doing chores, I would change my name to Esmerelda Pissemeyer. If they didn’t call me that, I didn’t answer. The kids weren’t little and I was a single working mother and every minute mattered.
When I received Esmerelda I put it on the kitchen counter and waited for a day when I didn’t have to be gone for part of the day. It took until Friday morning and I followed Celia’s directions to a T and put the water and flour and sourdough starter in a small bowl. Four hours later, another feed and another bigger feed before bed. The directions said I might be lucky to have the starter ready in the morning but it could take another day, so I wasn’t expecting much.
Well, first thing I went to the kitchen and it was all bubbly. I fed it again and started my day. A few hours later and it was REALLY bubbly and I decided it was time to give ‘er a go.
It was so easy to make this bread. Celia should be a teacher because this bread would make anyone happy. If you’re considering making a resolution to make sourdough bread, visit Celia’s Sourdough Bread Tutorial. You can’t go wrong if you follow her simple instructions. It’s a perfect loaf for sandwiches we decided.
I’m going to try something else tomorrow. I told Celia I knew no fear and that’s true. If I fail, well, I’ll start over. She urged me to save some starter in the fridge in the off-chance that I fail. No faith, I tell ya! I was so pleased with my first sourdough loaf, I submitted it to the YeastSpotting page.
- 150g bouncy, ripe starter
- 250g filtered water
- 25g olive oil
- 500g bakers’ flour
- 10g fine sea salt
- Add the ingredients to a bowl and squish them between your fingers until there are no dry bits. Scrape your fingers, cover the bowl and leave for 30 minutes to get acquainted.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly oiled bench and knead for a minute or so until the dough is smooth.
- Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for several hours until doubled in size.
- Once doubled in size, again scrape onto a lightly oiled bench and that should deflate the dough.
- Shape into a round ball by folding the edges into the middle. See video
- Place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray and place the ball of dough on the paper. Spray a piece of cling film with oil and snugly cover the ball of dough to prevent the dough getting a tough skin.
- Leave to rise to nearly double.
- Preheat oven to maximum when the dough has risen to nearly double in size.
- When oven is hot, remove the cling film and slash the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Just go crazy, slash, slash, slash. It will give your bread personality.
- Spray the bread with a little water and place the bread in the oven. Immediately drop the temperature to 220C with fan and bake for 20 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 175C and bake for a further 20-30 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds like a drum when you thump it. Mine took exactly 20 minutes.
- The crust will be quite dark brown. If you have any question about doneness, put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Don't cut until fully cool (as if)