Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Recipe - Rustic Sourdough

This is the basic outline for my Rustic Sourdough bread.  With a brief set of instructions like this, it is only possible to show the approximate quantities and techniques.  There are entire books written on the techniques that go into making these ingredients into high quality bred.  I will not be able to go into anywhere near enough detail in this post, but I will, in the future, dedicate posts to specific parts of the process.  To explain my formula, I will be using baker percentages, where all quantities are expressed in terms of a percentage of the weight of wheat in the final dough.


2 KG of starter at 100% Hydration
1 KG strong bread flour
1L cold water

Final dough;

2 KG  all purpose flour
4 KG strong bread flour
1.5 % Salt
75% water

Two days before bake day, expand 100 g of starter with 200 g of strong flour and 200 ml of water, leave for 12 hours at around 15 °C.  Expand the 500 g of 1st starter by adding 750 g of strong flour and 750 ml of water.  Allow another 12 hours of cool fermentation.

Roughly mix the remaining 2 KG of strong flour with 3.5 L of water, this is then left to sit for 2 hours.  After this resting period mix the remaining flour, starter and salt to complete the dough formula.

I then leave the dough to sit for another 30 minutes and then hand knead for 15 minutes.  The final dough is then left to ferment for 12 hours at the same cool temperature.  The dough is then divided into 1 KG portions, shaped and left to proof in linen lined baskets.  After half an hour of proofing, the loaves are put in a cold room overnight at around 7 °C.  In smaller quantities the dough would be in the refrigerator or for these quantities, at a warmer time of year, this step would be omitted and shaping would happen just 2 hours before baking.  With the cold rest period the dough is removed from the cold room and allowed to warm up and proof at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Baking happens in our wood fired oven with the hearth temperature at around 250-260°C until the internal dough temperature is 98°C.  At these temperatures, baking will take approximately 25-30 minutes.