I actually love sourdough bread.. not actually eating it but the looks of it and the ability to score the bread in a fancy manner! This is actually on my long list of to do items. Well the thought of feeding and maintaining my own starter really puts me off.
I don’t have that extra space to keep the starter in my fridge not to mention the feeding and discarding is like so wasteful. However I would still love to dabble into this one day.
My sister has long gifted me a set of bread lame and its still sitting in my drawer.
Perhaps I can start baking some artisan loaves using instant yeast that I am comfortable with. This recipe is taken from here. SY Yong is really talented. I love that she scores the bread so pretty and I hoped to be able to do so one day.
Here’s my humble version of the bread.
I actually did a bad job at scoring the bread. I need to practice more. The ingredients are fairly simple and you don’t really need any machine here to knead.
300g bread flour (I replaced 30% with fine wholemeal flour)
220g- 240g water
1 tsp instant yeast
1.5 tsp salt
Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix till there is no dry flour
Cover it with a cling wrap and leave it at the counter for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, lightly oil your hands and mat and pour out the dough. Stretch the dough gently in all directions till the dough is thin taking care not to break the dough. My dough was really sticky and not stretchy , I broke some parts of it while stretching. Too heavy handed.
Fold the dough into half, rotate 90 degrees and stretch out the dough thin again. This stretching and folding is to give the dough strength without kneading.
Next fold 1/3 left then right , like you would fold a letter. Then from the short sides fold 1/3 in towards the centre, left then right.
Cover the dough. Do this stretch and fold on all 4 sides every 20-30mins. After the last fold, flip it around and leave it covered for the next stretch and fold.
After the 3rd stretch and fold, we can do the final shaping.
Dust some flour on your worktop on mat. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
Roll the dough on the mat and flatten it gently to remove big air bubbles. Do not roll it too thinly.
Roll it up like a swiss roll. Pinched and seal the seams well. I tried to roll it into a ball so that the outer skin layer if tight.
Repeat for the other dough. Put the 2 doughs onto a heavily floured baking paper then into a tin each. Put the tin into the fridge for cold fermentation for 3-5 hours.
After that, remove from the fridge and leave it on the counter top to proof for 15-30 mins until it increase 1.5x to 1.75x of the original size. Mine didn’t seem to proof that much.
While proofing, preheat the oven to 250 degree (lower heating element only) with an empty baking tray inside.
Dust the dough with flour then brush away any excess. Slit the dough with a sharp knife or lame. Spray water all around the baking paper and on the dough.
Lift the dough up using the baking paper and place them on the heated baking tray. Be careful as it is really hot. I used my pizza peel to shovel my loaf in.
After 10 mins of baking the “ears” should be fully formed. As I tried to score some patterns on my dough instead of a slit, I didn’t get any ears. Turn on the upper baking element now so that both upper and lower elements are heating, for another 10-15mins until the bread is golden brown.
Allow the bread to cool down completely before you cut to enjoy. My 2 loafs looks kinda weird. My scoring is terrible too. To bake this bread requires a lot time, from the stretch and fold to the cold fermenting. It is also terribly hot to be operating the oven at the highest 250 degree. I don’t know if I will want to make this again. Nonetheless the bread does taste good. I am enjoying mine with balsamic vinegar and rosemary olive oil.