Sourdough bread is made with a ‘sourdough starter’ instead of yeast as a leavening agent.
- Start by making the sourdough starter. Put 50g wholemeal flour and 50ml water in a big jar. Mix well and set aside in a warm place. The next day, add another 50g wholemeal flour and 50ml water and mix well. Set aside in a warm place. Repeat this process for 5 consecutive days (ingredients: 250g flour and 250ml water in all). If everything is going well, the starter will start to form bubbles and increase in volume. The starter should smell a little sour, like buttermilk (but not acidic).
- Knead a dough from 500g wholemeal flour, salt, 250g of the sourdough starter and water.
- Cover with plastic foil and set aside to rise. This may take a few hours.
- Knead the dough once more, form into a ball and cover with plastic foil.
- Set aside to rise once more.
- Use a sharp knife to make a lengthwise incision across the top of the loaf and bake at 250°C.
- Put a small oven-proof container in the oven with 3 ice cubes to create a little steam. This will improve the baking process, will enable the bread to tear better and result in a better crust colour.
- After 10 minutes, turn down the temperature to 200°C and bake for another 40 minutes until done.
- As part of a breakfast or lunch.
- As a basic ingredient for a bread component.