Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Back To Basics: Starter Bread

This is a post telling you how I fulfilled yet another dream of mine. Making a proper loaf of bread. I absolutely love making bread from scratch because seeing water, flour and yeast turn in to delicious bread and there is something profoundly therapeutic about kneading dough. So after some brownsing around the internet I found a recipe that turned out perfect.

So let's get started because this is a long process. You start the night before you plan on making your bread or the same morning eight to nine hours before baking if you want to bake in the evening time. Why? Because the starter needs to ferment.

Starter:

½ tsp            active dry yeast
1 cup            warm water, 42 degrees celcius
1 1/2 cups   flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, add in your flour. Use a medium sized non-metal mixing bowl, medium because the starter needs room to bubble and non-metal because of science.

I use just regular flour when making this recipe but if you have access to bread flour use that.

The next day your starter should look something like this


The rest of the ingredients:

2 tsp             active dry yeast
2 cups          warm water
1 cup            whole wheat flour
3 cups          flour

Now we get to making the actual dough. Dissolve the yeast to the warm water. Add the starter mixture, the whole wheat flour mix and add the remaining flour about half a cup a time. When your dough has pulled together, turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes depending on the strenght you use. Lightly oil a large bowl and place your dough in it, oil the surface lightly. Cover with a damp cloth an allow to proof in a warm place until doubled in volume, this will take about an hour depending on the temperature of your warm place. I just put mine in the sink filled 1/3 with very warm water. 

Afterwards you should have something along these lines


Deflate your dough, turn it out to a lightly floured surface and divide equally in half. Place the halves in two greased loaf pans and allow to proof again in a warm place under a damp cloth for about 45 minutes. This time I use a compartment under my oven that is meant to usa as storage for baking sheets. I start to preheat my oven to the needed 220 degrees celcius, this gets the storage compartment warm as well.

After 45 minutes we get to this.


My dough caught on the cloth a little because it wasn't damp enough and you can see how the dough has teared a little on the top. So make sure you use a really damp but not wet cloth.

Put your loaf pans in the hot oven for 30 minutes or until the tops are lovely golden brown and when you tap the bottoms they sound hollow.



Ta-daaah! Looks delicious right?



The multiple proofing gets the texture to be light and fluffy with all those little pockets on the inside. This is a great bread to use as toast, it freezes nicely so you can just slice it up, freeze and pop the slices in your toaster whenever you want a lovely crispy slice of toast.

I higly recommed giving this a go, it is so worth all the waiting. And if you do try the recipe make sure to put it up on Instagram tagged #kayscookings or you can tag my account @tinyk02.

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