I think I’ve said it before but I think the best think about sourdough (apart from the smell, flavour, the fact that it’s basically free yeast and the way it makes amazing toast) is its flexibility when you are making it.
I tend to use fresh yeast in my baking which is great but once you have started the timescale is reasonably well set and if the dough over proves then the whole batch can be a flop (quite literally). Because sourdough is a much slower process it is much more forgiving and today’s ‘bake’ is a case in point.
So I started at about 9.30 this morning by mixing up 200g of starter, 200ml of water and 380g of flour (roughly the proportions of the Bourke Street Bakery recipe). The eagle eyed among you may have noticed that one of the three ingredients of sourdough bread is missing but, after a long week and a very early morning I was feeling more like a mole than an eagle and forgot to put the salt in!
“not to worry” I thought, “I’ll leave it to rest for 20 minutes then I’ll add the salt and do the kneading”
2 hours later, just as i was making lunch, I remembered about it so I added the salt (10g) and gave it a good knead for probably about 15 minutes.
After lunch I took Toby to the park and we ended up staying a lot longer than I’d anticipated so by the time we got home it was nearly 4pm so i gave it a quick 20 second knead and left it to rise again.
An hour later I tipped it out onto a lightly floured surface and shaped it into a tight ball (or ‘boule’ as bakers like to call it!) and put it into a banneton (more on those another day hopefully). I put the baking stone into the oven and turned it on to preheat.
Just as I was thinking about putting the loaf into the oven I unexpectedly had to go out for the evening to help a good friend out. If this had been a regular yeasted bread that would have pretty much spelled the end of that loaf. However this was sourdough and so all was not lost! Instead of just chucking the dough and giving up I have put it into the fridge which will slow down the work of the yeasts and I will stick it in the oven in the morning.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Goodnight!