Ancient Cotswold Crunch Loaf

Time: up to 24 hours.

Hands on time: 30 minutes.

Makes: 1 loaf

Essential equipment for this recipe: 28cm long oval banneton prepared with rice flour and a 30cm long oval pan with a lid, plus parchment paper.

You can also make this as a round loaf or use the dough for rolls.

ANCIENT COTSWOLD CRUNCH AND CHURCHILL SOURDOUGH LOAF

The new Ancient Cotswold Crunch brings together to brilliance of Matthews Cotswold Crunch with emmer, einkorn and spelt flours to create a tasty, wholesome, wonderful flour. In this recipe I’ve teamed some with some Churchill’s white flour, or you could team some with some wholemeal flour. I’ve made this loaf as an oval, it could also be made as a round/boule loaf.

INGREDIENTS

  • 50g active starter, fed previously, and ready to use
  • 325g water
  • 250g Ancient Cotswold Crunch flour
  • 250g Churchill’s strong white flour
  • 7g salt, or to taste

METHOD

Step 1: in the late afternoon/early evening, mix all of the ingredients together to make a rough dough, the mix will be quite stiff initially. Cover the bowl with a shower cap or cover, and leave it for an hour or so on the kitchen counter.

Step 2: after an hour or so, perform the first set of pulls and folds on the dough to build up its structure. Literally pick up a handful of dough from one side of the bowl, using your thumb and two forefingers to grab a portion, lift it, stretch it and fold it over the rest of the dough to the other side of the bowl, turn the bowl a few degrees and repeat the process, round and round the bowl until the dough comes together into a smoothish ball. Then stop. The dough will be stretchy, stuffed with the spelt flakes, and come into an easy ball.

Cover the bowl again and leave it out on the kitchen counter. You can now leave the bowl again for an hour, or half an hour, whatever works for you.

Step 3: over the next few hours, at intervals that suit you, perform 3 more sets of the lifting and folding action, just enough to bring the dough into a ball; this is the dough telling you when it is time to stop. The dough will be nicely stretchy, not sticky, and each time will easily come into a ball. After each set, cover the bowl and leave it on the counter doing the final set before going to bed.

Step 4: leave the covered bowl on the counter overnight to prove. I typically let my dough prove, untouched, for 8 to 10 hours at temperatures of 18-20C. If it is colder where you are it may need longer; if it’s warmer, you will need to make amendments to the dough at the start of the process.

Step 5: In the morning, the dough will be grown to double, with an almost smooth surface, maybe with a few bubbles. It will be a heavy, strong dough, easy to handle. Sprinkle an extra layer of rice flour into your banneton. To place the dough into an oval banneton, lift and pull the dough over itself along one side of the bowl; this will be a heavy dough, slightly sticky from the flours. Turn the bowl around completely to the other side and pull the dough on that side again in a line to create a fat sausage of dough. Place the dough, smooth side down, into the banneton, sprinkling extra rice flour down the sides and across the top of the dough. Cover the banneton with the same cover that you previously used for the dough, and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours, and up to a maximum of 24, to allow the dough to firm up and develop flavour.

Step 6: When you are ready to bake, decide whether you would like to bake in a preheated oven, or from a cold start. If preheating, set the oven to 220C fan assisted or 240C non fan.

Remove the cover from the banneton, place the paper over the top of the banneton and the pan upside down over the top of them both. With one hand under the banneton and one on the pan, turn it all over together to turn the dough out of the banneton and into the pan. Score the dough in one single long line, off centre, holding the blade at a 45 degree angle.

If you preheated the oven, put the lid on and bake for 50 minutes. If using a cold start, place the pan with the dough into the oven, set the temperature as above and set the timer for 55 minutes.

After the baking time for either option, remove the covered pan from the oven. Open the lid to check the loaf. Baking in a lidded pan produces a golden loaf. When you take the lid off, if you feel that your loaf is looking pale, place it back in the hot oven, in its pan, minus the lid, for 5 to 10 minutes to brown the loaf to the color of your choice.

Step 7: Once baked, carefully remove the loaf from the pan, saving the parchment paper for next time, and allow the baked loaf to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.

For more details, hints and tips, find Elaine at foodbodsourdough.com

For an alternative, make a round loaf with a mix of Ancient Cotswold Crunch flour and Matthews stoneground strong wholegrain wholemeal flour.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 50g active starter, fed previously, and ready to use 
  • 350g water 
  • 300g Ancient Cotswold Crunch flour 
  • 200g Matthews stoneground strong wholegrain wholemeal flour
  • 7g salt, or to taste

Follow the process above, using an oval or round banneton.