- Flour 755ml (I don’t have a measuring cup in grams)
- Salt 2 teaspoons
- Sourdough starter 180ml
- Water 230ml
- Add the flour to a clean mixing bowl. Mix the salt through the flour. Add the water and sourdough starter to the flour. Combine all the ingredients together to form a rough dough.
Turn the dough out on to a clean surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes or until the windowpane effect has been achieved. The dough should be smooth, soft and elastic.
When kneading, do not worry if the dough is slightly wet or sticky. Resist the temptation to add any extra flour.
Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with cling film and allow the dough to prove for 4 hours at room temperature.
- After 4 hours turn the dough onto a clean work surface and knock the dough back. Knocking back the dough simple involves knocking the air from the dough which helps to equalise the temperature within the dough.
- Form the dough into a tight round ball.
- Place the dough, seamed side facing up, into a proving container (any concave container will do) that has been lined with baking paper. Cover the proving container with baking paper and leave to prove for another 3 – 3½ hours. Alternatively, to prove overnight for baking first thing in the morning, place into a fridge and leave overnight. Using a fridge reduces the temperature of the dough allowing it to prove slower and longer which allows for a greater development of flavour within the dough but also increasing its digestibility.
- To bake, preheat your oven to 230°C / 210°C fan assisted. Also place the cast iron casserole bowl in the oven to heat it up. Line your heated up casserole bowl with baking paper and then carefully turn your dough out from the proving container into it (the domed side with the indentations from the proving basket should now be facing up and the seamed side on the baking tray).
- Using a sharp knife cut the surface of the dough, this is what is known as the baker’s signature. The dough can be cut up to ½ cm deep. (This isn’t just for aesthetics, scoring the bread also helps control where and how it rises while baking).
- Bake the bread for 20 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the casserole dish and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Many thanks to Patrick Ryan(opens new window) whose sourdough recipe formed the basis for this one. You can view a video of his recipe here:(opens new window) .