Important Note: This recipe is a result of a lot of practice. The quantities, timings, and methods can vary. We suggest using this recipe more as a guideline and one is encouraged to make his or her own experiments :)
Prep Time: 15-18 hours Cook Time: 45 minutes Quantity: Two breads
– Combination of whole-grain flour and fine white flour. We use mostly spelt (Dinkel), rye (Roggen), whole-wheat and an ancient variety called Einkorn wheat.
– Water (*Always lukewarm / moderately warm)
– Salt (25-30g)
– Spices (optional)
Mix some fine white flour with lukewarm water and bring to a yogurt-like consistency. Let the mix sit for at least three days to a week to mature until you smell sourness (banana-yogurt smell is normal). Stir the starter everyday and add a little bit of flour and water in order to feed those wonderful micro-organisms that will give life to your sourdough. You can keep these new friends forever too!
CREATING THE SPONGE:
Once your starter is alive, you can keep it dormant in the fridge and use it as you need, or feed it a little bit everyday with flour and water if you keep it at room temperature. When you are ready to make bread, you first need to create the sponge which is usually done the night before.
Put 2-4 tbsp of the starter into a big bowl. Add one big glass of water. Mix well. Always use wooden spoons preferably. Then add flour but keep it quite liquid to a jelly-like/ yogurt consistency. Mix well. Make sure it’s not too dry.
Let the sponge sit overnight (or at least 10 hrs). The longer the more sour it will be and the more digestible, but it can go bad if it’s sit too long. Cover the bowl with a dry clean cloth. You can stir the dough once or twice to break up the skin forming at the surface.
*Note: While making bread, always keep the sponge and dough in a warm but not hot place such as a stove top.
Next morning (or after 10 hrs or more), stir well the sponge again. Feed your starter.
*Feeding the starter: At this step, always remember to put a few spoons back of the sponge into the starter jar to feed your microorganisms and to have a starter for your next breads.
Add one liter or approximately two big glasses of water to the sponge. Mix well. Add a lot of flour until the dough is still sticky but not liquid anymore (more doughy, less yogurt-like). Mix with wooden spoon or a wet clean hand. Keep one hand dry to add flour as you stir. Cover the bowl with the cloth and put it back in a warm place.
Let the dough sit for half to one hour. Notice the consistency change in just that time: the bacteria and yeast community is working! Then add 25-30g of salt + spices of choice on top of the dough at the center. Pour over the salt about 50ml of water (just a little bit) to dilute it. With a wet hand, first rub the salt and water on the surface of the dough.
Fold the dough several times. *When folding the dough, do it very gently with a wet clean hand by turning the bowl one way and folding the other way. Keep the same folding direction.
For the next 3-4 hours, fold the dough again once per hour, preferably without adding anything. You can experiment with the times and see what sourness you like best.
You will get the amount for about 2 breads. Therefore, before baking you need to divide the dough.
*Dividing the dough: It is best to divide the dough at the last folding about an hour before baking. First put some flour at the bottom of a new bowl. Try to manipulate the dough as little as possible. Pour half of the dough into the new bowl slowly and only use the spatula to help detach the dough from the bowl. If you forget, dividing the dough directly before baking is fine. It will have a little less air bubbles.
Heat the oven as hot as it can (250°C) before starting. Put it at “upper and lower heat” or on fan if using two oven trays at different heights (but remember that on fan the oven gets a lot more hot).
When the oven is hot enough, oil and flour your bread molds (the sides as well). Put the dough in with again as little manipulation as possible. Let the dough find its shape naturally. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough to avoid it to stick to the cover.
Bake the breads at 225°C the first 20 minutes covered with aluminum foil (a baking tray on top of them also works just fine). Then, turn the heat down to 200°C and bake for another 25 minutes uncovered. Lower the heat a little more if it seems to be too high.
When the baking is done, take the breads out of the molds immediately. Let them rest on their side or standing on the counter for a while before cutting.
…and send us a picture :)