I have baked this loaf, and many variants of it, so many times now I’ve lost count. It is the first recipe I started tweaking with when I started milling my families Wheat, and is now the most popular loaf I offer to my customers. This loaf started feeding friends and family, then neighbours, and has now grown from 5 loaves per bake, to 80 loaves!
Over the past year it has developed its own personality, and you will see that yours will too. Even if you follow my recipe meticulously, it can taste and look splendidly different just by changing the hands that make it. I love that.
Wheat Sourdough Recipe (2x 800g loaves):
Recipe Part 1:
Feed your sourdough culture so it’s ready to bake with
-100g bakers flour
Step 1: Build your sourdough culture by feeding it 100g bakers flour and 100g warm water and allow to ferment overnight of 12 hours. When you are ready to make the bread it should have doubled in size and will be bubbly. If its not do this process again.
Recipe Part 2:
- 240g wholegrain wheat flour
- 600g strong bakers flour
- 600g luke warm water
- 160g sourdough culture
- 16g salt
Step 2: When your culture looks ready, add 160g to a mixing bowl with water and all flour from part 2. Combine with your hands so all is incorporated. The dough will look like a wet shaggy mess, this is a good thing. Let the dough rest covered with a cloth for 30 minutes.
Step 3: After 30 minutes, add the salt to your mixture. This process of holding the salt back from the mixture for the first 30 minutes is called Autolyse which allows magical things to happen which will take too long to explain here so Google it. You will be led down a huge rabbit hole of bread science! Once the salt is incorporated, again cover with a cloth and let sit for another 30 minutes.
Step 4: This next process is going to take time, but not a lot of YOUR time. Just the dough doing its business. You will need to give the dough a little bit of love every 30 minutes, over 2 hours. By this I mean once 30 mins have passed, go back to your dough and knead the dough in the bowl. Fold it over itself, punch it a bit, knead it, kiss it. You’re aiming to develop the gluten. This should take no more than 1-2 minutes each time and remember to cover the bowl so the dough doesn’t dry out. In between each 30 minutes, go and live your life.
Step 5: After 2 hours the dough should be nice and strong and ready to be shaped. Scrape the dough out onto a floured bench and split into two equal pieces. Shape into a log if you’re using a bread tin or a floured bread basket if you have one. Once the dough is in its little bed, let it sit on the bench for 15-20 minutes before you put it in the fridge for an overnight ferment.
Step 6: Any time the next day (from 16 hours) preheat your oven to 230 degrees (C). Flour the top of the loaf and slash down the middle with a sharpe knife or blade. Pop the bread tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or if you’re using a bread basket, flip the dough out onto a tray, or into a pre-heated dutch oven. Bake with the lid on for the first 20 minutes, and take the lid off and bake for another 30 minutes or until golden brown.