Reader's loaf - sourdough bread
Try this sourdough loaf and send your recipes in to win an Allinson baking kit
This month, Libby Ashdown from Surrey shares her classic brown loaf adapted from The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook (Michael Joseph, £20). "I'm new to bread-making and I am already experimenting. This nutty, malty loaf is made with a 21-hour sourdough."
Preparation: 25 minutes plus fermenting and rising
Cooking: 30 minutes
Makes one huge 'Boule' shaped loaf or a large cob and a 2lb loaf
For the starter mix
300g Wessex Cobber bread flour
150g wholemeal bread flour
50g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast
For the bread
250g Wessex Cobber bread flour or mixed grain
250g wholemeal bread flour
Extra flour for dusting, or porridge oats or seeds for a topping, held on with a salt water mix.
1 For the starter, mix the Wessex Cobber, wholemeal and white flours with the dried yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add 400ml warm water and stir until well combined, without overworking the mixture. Cover the bowl tightly with cling film and leave in a warm, draught-free place overnight, to ferment (I leave mine for 21 hours).
2 For the bread, mix the Wessex Cobber and wholemeal flours with 1 teaspoon salt, 200ml warm water and the fermented starter mixture until well combined. Bring the mixture together to form a dough.
3 Turn out the dough onto a clean, floured worktop and knead with floured hands for 15-20 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Or just use a food mixer with a dough-hook attachment.
4 Transfer the loaf to a baking tray, cover with cling film and set aside for two hours in a warm place until doubled in size.
5 Heat the oven to 230ºC (210ºC fan oven) gas mark 8. Brush the top with a salt-water glaze then sprinkle with the porridge oats or seeds. If dusting with flour, omit the glaze.
6 Bake the loaf in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through - the loaf is cooked when it is risen and golden and sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
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