60g recently fed sourdough starter
5g teaspoon sea salt
320ml tepid filtered water (or boiled water)
500g Matthews Canadian Great White Strong Bread flour
Rice flour (for dusting)
2 to 3 hours before you want to start your sourdough bread, take the starter out of the fridge and feed it with 40g filtered water and 40g strong white bread flour. Mix well, cover with cling film (or a shower cap) and set to one side to start working. After 2 to 3 hours the starter should be frothy and light with lots of bubbles and it may be making a noise, as in singing! It’s now ready to use. Put the covered starter back in the fridge until it is needed next time you want to bake.
Place a bowl onto some digital scales and set the tare to zero. Add 60g of sourdough starter and set the tare to zero again; then add the salt and water, again, I find it easier to set the tare to zero before adding the flour. Take the bowl off the scales and mix well, it will look rough and lumpy, but never fear it will soon start to look like bread dough! Cover the dough with cling film/shower cap and set to one side.
After an hour, uncover it and with your hands, bring the dough from the outside, and fold it into the middle. Do this for about 15 to 20 times – I find it is easier if I rotate the bowl at the same time. Cover it and set to one side.
Do the folding and turning action two or three more times over the next few hours, by this time the dough will be smooth, elastic and sticky. I start this at about 3pm to 4pm and the dough is ready at about 8pm to 9pm.
Once the dough is smooth and elastic (see above) and it will have risen by now too, take a 22cm (9″) to 24cm (10″) banneton basket and dust it with rice flour. Do one more set of folding actions with the dough and then place the ball of dough into the floured banneton basket. Ease the dough up around the sides, sprinkle some more flour around it and then sprinkle some over the top of the dough. Cover with cling film/shower cap and set to one side in a cool place to prove overnight. (I use my pantry which is about 14 degrees C)
In the morning, the dough will have risen overnight and you will have a large, round ball of smooth dough that’s ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 230C/220C Fan/450F/425F Fan/Gas mark 8 and line a large 30cm (15″) cast iron casserole dish (Dutch oven) that has a lid, with grease-proof baking paper.
Uncover and invert the dough into the cast iron pot and then score the top with a lame or a razor blade. Place the lid on the pot and bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes until the bread is well-risen, golden brown and with a crisp crust. NB: if you want a darker crust, take the lid off and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
Thank you to Karen for this submission!
Karen is a Freelance Food & Travel Writer, Food Stylist, Photographer & Recipe Developer. If you would like to see more recipes, please visit her website: Lavender and Lovage
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With a milling legacy spanning eight generations, Matthews Cotswold Flour is one of the UK’s oldest family-run flour mills. Trading grain and milling flour in the heart of the Cotswolds since the 1800s, we believe passionately that our local partnerships, traditional methods and premium grains make for better baking.
We are proud to offer premium quality Organic and Stoneground Wholegrain flour, using grain from local farmers and time-honoured milling techniques.
The Matthews Cotswold Flour story began when the original FWP Matthews built a mill on the river Evenlode in 1912. You’ll find us working here to this day, overlooking the picturesque Cotswold village of Shipton-Under-Wychwood.
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