Now that you’ve made your sourdough starter, have you tried making bread yet?
A lot of people have been making these sourdough crackers every week, and loving them. They taste cheesy (but have no cheese in them), and most of the gluten has been broken down through the proofing time, and they have some lovely olive oil and sea salt crystals sprinkled over them.
I’ve been making our bread ever since we were married and received a ‘Country Loaf’ breadmaker for our wedding. However, I’d only make it for when we had visitors or special occasions. It was using the bags of bread mix (which I have since realised contain a whole lot of additives that I didn’t necessarily want/need in my bread – non-iodised salt, malt flour, mineral salt (E170, soy flour, emulsifier (E472), vegetable gum (E412), inactive dry yeast, ascorbic acid (Vit C), enzyme, Thiamine…. etc See here.). Now we’ve been making our own bread for 2 years, and usually it’s the basic white bread (Thermomix recipe containing just Bakers Flour, warm water, yeast, salt, oil). Since having the Thermomix we haven’t had to have store bought bread and I like knowing exactly what is going into my bread. This has been the biggest saving for us as a family of 6. With a large extended family and birthday parties and lunches/dinners with friends, we have been able to make our own bread rolls (white/wholemeal/seed loaf), bread loaves, scrolls for kids lunches (‘cheesymite’ scrolls, ham and cheese scrolls, tomato and cheese scrolls, cinnamon scrolls, jam scrolls), danishes!, gluten free bread, fruit loaves, … and also loads of things like scones… for the cost of Bakers Flour (bought in 10kg bags) and a bit of yeast/salt/oil… Now, back to sourdough – sorry!
I have now started experimenting more with sourdough to decrease my gluten intake and increase the nutritious value of the bread I eat. These HEALTH benefits are the reason why I’m starting to change my baking routines.
This sourdough loaf is slightly more time intensive than our usual white loaf (that takes 1 1/2 mins kneading time in the Thermomix, and 30 mins rising time, and 25mins baking time). This sourdough loaf takes 5-10 minutes to ‘knead’, then it has to be left to rise or ‘proof’ for at least 8 hours (longer than this is preferable, as the gluten breaks down even more over time). THEN it takes about an hour to bake.
This is how my sourdough ‘creations’ looked a year ago…
MY FIRST SOURDOUGH ‘CREATIONS’ – basic recipe – 1 cup sourdough starter, 1 cup water, 2 tsp sea salt, 3 cups flour (spelt, rye, wholemeal, any flour)
The sourdough loaves left to proof for 24 – 48 hours.
Sourdough loaf in the oven.
Fresh out of the oven, kind of like little bricks 🙂 but delicious. Chewy crusts and a tasty, dense, healthy loaf. I would cut (saw!) it into slices and pop into the freezer to use a bit every day.
However, only 2 people out of our family would eat this loaf. So here’s the recipe for a different sourdough bread that my whole family (nearly!) eats.
After a bit of experimenting, my sourdough loaves now look like this (see below).
I was amazed that all the kids loved it – even Charlie! Now don’t expect a light, fluffy loaf like your usual bread. It is a denser loaf, with a thick, hard crust.
Easy Sourdough Bread
PREPARATION – 10 MINS (then left overnight to ‘proof’ or rise)
- Put the following ingredients into a large bowl
– 330g sourdough starter
– 15g (or 3 tsp) sea salt
– 420g warm water
– 40g extra virgin olive oil
– 150g rye flour
– 600g Bakers Flour
2.Using a rolling pin, hold it like a ‘dagger’ in your bowl, and move it vigorously back (towards you) and forth (away from you) to mix and ‘knead’ the sourdough bread mixture. It is like ‘goo’ and you cannot knead it on the bench. It will take about 5 minutes. Keep going until you see the ‘gluten fibers’ coming together and it gets thicker – it really tones the arms!! (Alternatively, you can pop all of the above ingredients in your Thermomix, mix on Speed 6 for 10 seconds, then Knead for 3 minutes).
- Plop it onto a lined baking tray and with floury hands, shape it into a ‘log’.
- Cover it with a clean towel, and leave it overnight (or all day) to rise.
BAKING – 1 HOUR
1. Preheat oven to very hot – 200 o C
2. Cut slits into the top of your dough with a knife (to allow for more rising in the oven).
3. Put in the oven for about an hour. Test if it’s ready by tapping it and it should sound hollow. Wait about 15 mins before slicing.
4. Enjoy with butter and jam or melted cheese!