Here it is, the first successful sourdough of my baking career. I vaguely followed a recipe from exceptional breads, written by Dan Lepard and Richard Whittington for Baker & Spice, a fantastic bakery that happens to have a shop down the road from me in Maida Vale. The method follows that of a traditional San Francisco starter, which uses yoghurt, apple juice and raisins to help the starter ferment, and means it can be used after only a couple of days, rather than the usual week or so it takes just flour and water to get the right amount of stink to it, however I used the simple rye and water starter I had, giving it an overnight ferment.
I think my starter may have a slightly higher water to flour ratio than is needed as the dough turned out rather too sticky to handle, and not having an electronic mixer, this was problematic when it came to kneading. I decided to leave it be, as I know that a watery dough can produce nice big bubbles in the bread, and used a loaf tin instead of shaping it into a baton, to stop it from spreading too much.
Although it’s not as rustic as a lumpy baton would be, it’s gorgeously light and extremely sour. I’m thinking of ways to incorporate it into as many dinners as possible. Mushrooms… panzanella… I will dream of it tonight I am sure.
Edit: Genius idea from Sam Clark at Moro, if you’re baking a sourdough in a loaf tin, as I did, you should take it out of the tin once it’s taken shape so that the sides and bottom can properly crisp up. Thank you!