Martha De Lacey’s Sourdough Loaf
Makes two loaves
Gilchesters Wholewheat flour
Gilchesters Unbleached white flour
Fine Sea Salt
1kg proofing bannetons or two large bowls lined with tea towels
A large dutch oven / Cast iron pot / Le Creuset
A razorblade or pair of scissors
A bakers bench knife
A little jar
A large mixing bowl
A tea towel
A handful for dusting
Making a Sourdough Starter from scratch
Recipe by Martha De Lacey
Day 1: Mix equal amounts of Wholewheat flour and water in a jar – 50g each – mix well, put the lid on and leave at room temp
Day 2: Add the same
Day 3: Add the same
Day 4: Begin discarding all but one tablespoon of everything into a Trash Pot – put this in the fridge and continue adding to it daily, you can use this for other recipes – before feeding jar another 50g flour and 50g water.
Day 5: Your starter is ready but will become stronger with age. It is technically ready to make bread now but if you’re a beginner its a good ideas to keep feeding your starter for at least a week to build up strength.
Day 1, morning: feed your starter
Day 1, evening: Mix 1 tbsp of starter with 100g Wholewheat flour and 100g of cool tap water. This is your ‘leaven’. Cover and leave overnight somewhere not too warm but not too cold.
Day 2, morning:
- Mix 750g Unbleached White flour with 250g wholewheat flour and 660g of warm tap water and a splash of olive oil. Mix until fully hydrated. Cover with a tea towel and leave to ‘autolyse’ for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, add the whole leaven and mix well. Cover and leave for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix thoroughly and properly with a damp hand until fully incorporated.
- Every half an hour (for 3 hours) perform a series of stretch and folds. Using a wet hand lift the dough up from the bottom and flop itself over the top of itself. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and do this again. Do this around ten times until the dough feels tighter. Do this every half an hour for three hours until the dough looks billowy, gassy and strong.
- If the dough doesn’t look billowy after three hours, continue for one more hour
- Tip the dough onto a dry table and split into two halves using your bench knife. Use your bench knife to shape the two halved into rounds.
- Leave to rest for half an hour, then shape by folding up tightly into a sausage – watch videos of how to do this online or on Marthas website . You can sign up to her online cookery school (paid) and follow @themuffkitchen to learn more about the steps in this recipe.
- Dust the tops of the loaves with semolina and put seam side up in the bannetons
- Leave overnight in the fridge then turn out unto a hot cast iron pot in an oven preheated to 250C and bake for 45 minutes with the lid on
- Cool on the rack before slicing
Notes: The recipe states more flour than used for this loaf, this is to ensure you can keep feeding your sourdough starter until you want to bake another loaf. If its your first time baking sourdough Martha recommends feeding your starter for over five days to strengthen. It will take longer is your house is it too cold or clean.