Do you like the idea of baking a loaf of sourdough without using commercial yeast? But does it put you off how time consuming it is?
I experimented with making sourdough loafs in a bread maker. The purists are probably frowning reading this… But I’m all for breaking rules if it makes life easier! (More time to play!) The loafs have a soft but elastic texture, and a slight sour tinge.
This is a recipe that will fit into a working day’s schedule (assuming you work more or less 8-hour days and will be at home at some point in the evening). If you don’t have a bread maker, it’s a breeze making it by hand too. For one 1 Kg loaf, you’ll need:
- 2+1/2 cups of high grade flour
- 1 cup of freshly revived sourdough starter at room temperature (read how to revive it by clicking on the link)
- 1 cup water
- 1+1/2 cup wholemeal flour
- 1+1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon milk power
- 1 tablespoon honey
(The last two ingredients may make the purists shake their heads in disapproval, but it makes the bread keep longer without going stale. Just leave them out if you don’t want them.)
Follow these steps:
- Put the first 3 ingredients into the bread maker and knead until just combined (3 minutes or so).
- Leave it alone and go to work. It needs to have at least enough time to double in size, which can be as short as 4 hours for me. The longest I’ve left it is 11 hours. It does not matter if the dough has peaked and sunk.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the bread maker and let it knead until integrated. It should be a sticky dough, but a dough nevertheless. Adjust flour/water if necessary.
- Let it roughly double in size. The time it takes will depend on your sourdough starter and temperature of the day etc. (Mine generally takes 1.5 – 2 hours, which give me time to go out for some evening activities).
- Bake for 1 hour in the bread maker until it sounds hollow when tapped.
Once you are familiar with the amount of time your final dough would need to rise before baking (which mostly depends on your sourdough starter), you can set the bread maker to automatically start baking while you are out. I’ve made this recipe many times now. Once I set the bread maker to automatically start baking, and went out for some evening rock climbing. Coming home to a house full of the smell of freshly baked sourdough bread – priceless!