Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Sourdough Share

A furore of sourdough last week…

I have a lovely Wheat/Rye Sourdough, given to me last year by the Clare Island fellows.  It is, unlike my homemade Rye pictured previously, very stoic, and easy to revive even after a couple of months.  The sourdough was passed on to them seven years hence by a German friend, and they have sent it in jars, in pockets, all over Ireland, to the UK and to France.  A nice thought – the fermented dough putting bread on the table the breadth of Europe, perhaps even further abroad… a share much like sharing a good loaf, sat by the hearth…

A very simple recipe, passed over the sea from Clare Island.  Make at night, Bake at dawn.

For two loaves

1 (lg) yogurt pot of Rye
1 yogurt pot of Wholemeal Wheat
¾ yogurt pot of White Wheat
Seeds (optional)

Add small amount of water to the Sourdough. Stir.
Add wet Sourdough to mixed Flours.
Add water to mixture until dry dough.
Add Salt.
Knead briefly and then bring from bowl onto wet surface.
Knead adding water for ten minutes, until the dough becomes a wet, but manageable consistency.
Remove a hunk of dough to act as the successive sourdough.
Leave this in a open jar for between 10-15 hours, until well-risen, then store it, airtight in the fridge until next baking occasion.
Fold/knead seeds into the rest of the dough if desired, I use Pumpkin, Lin, Sunflower seeds for a lovely crunchy, nutty bread.
Put into greased and floured loaf tins.
Leave to rise between 10-15 hours, the warmer and moister the conditions, the faster the bread will rise, the dough should have doubled in size and small geyser-like bubbles appearing on the surface.
Bake at 220C for 20mins then 180C for another 20 mins. 
The bread should knock easily out of the loaf tins.  Now bake the loaves upside down for five to fifteen minutes depending on how thoroughly cooked it is.  This creates a lovely crust.
Knock on the base of the bread, a hollow sound means it is done.
Leave a while, for a day even, particularly if the quantity of rye flour is high, before cutting into as the crumb can be very wet and sticky immediately out of the oven.

Pass the sourdough on!

(Notes on the science of sourdough to follow at another stage)

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