Is it possible to make a loaf with the taste, texture and complexity of sourdough bread without spending weeks or months developing a starter? Yes, if you can scrounge one, but I thought it would be fun to try to recreate one from scratch in a day.
I started with the idea that sourdough is slow to develop because the yeast is not as concentrated as in loaves developed with commercial yeast. So I cut down on the yeast element. I let it ferment in the kitchen which was at thirteen degrees, thanks to being January in the East of Scotland. And to cap it all I added two big tablespoons of home made whole fat milk yoghurt. I also wanted an element of wholemeal flour to give it extra depth.
- 350 grams of strong white flour
- 150 grams of strong wholemeal flour
- 2 grams of yeast
- 20 grams of olive oil
- 10 grams of salt, dissolved in 275 mls of water
- 40 or 50 grams of natural yoghurt
- Mix the flours and yeast together
- Add the yoghurt and olive oil and the bulk of the water – keep some back in case the dough is too wet
- Mix the ingredients to a rough dough, (why is that not ruff duff or roe doe?)
- Continue mixing until smooth and elastic
- Leave for eight to ten hours
- Knock it back gently
- Let it prove again for an hour or so
- Cook for 30 to 40 minutes at 220.
Did it work? Maybe. But I made a few errors of judgement: –
- I added too much water at first,
- Didn’t take account of how wet the yoghurt was
- I assumed that the wholemeal flour would absorb more moisture than it did
- I didn’t correct my mistakes – and I should have – too busy making a bird box and fixing a leak in the shower
But the loaf tasted good! It didn’t have a chewy crust, and the cheesey flavour I have had with some of my other sourdoughs was missing; so back to the drawing board, and I will keep trying until I get it as far as I can.
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