Sourdough is the holy grail of breads and one I have been battling with for quite some time. After we did the bread course in the firehouse bakery back in August, I made my own starter and started playing around with different sourdough recipes. None have proven that successful! So in an effort to finally succeed at sourdough, I have been taking advice from the sourdough sage of Ballymaloe, Tim.
I have been eagerly anticipating our introduction to sourdough and last week, Tim took a group of us for an after hours demo and talked us through his hard earned “do’s and don’ts” of this wonderful bread.
It really is incredible to think that just using some water, flour and yeasts in the air around us, you can produce a spectacular loaf of bread.
So over the last week, I have been attending kitchen three after hours with a group of other bread nerds. Sourdough is a slow process and requires a number of steps in 24hour increments.
First you make your starter, or steal a smidge of the school’s starter! After 6-7 days, your starter will be ready to make a loaf with it.
On Tuesday, I made and kneaded my dough. Then it needed to rest for 24 hours. After 24 hours I needed to bench rest the dough, folding it occasionally.
I then put the dough into a proving basket to ensure it kept its shape.It then needed to rest again overnight.
Finally, on Friday evening it was time to bake it! It was baked in a Dutch oven or casserole dish, which helps regulate the heat and ensure the loaf bakes evenly.
After 40 mins, my baby was ready!
So that’s it, sourdough. It is a long process for sure, but it actually isn’t that much work. I will definitely be making sourdough again after this course and I think the way to do it is to establish a routine of loaves!
There we have it! Have any of you tried making sourdough? If there are any sourdough newbies out there struggling and frustrated, please feel free to ask questions and I’ll try and be of help in any way I can!