I’m very proud of my sourdough these days. I’m making an eleven grain and seed mix that costs cents, takes minutes, and tastes good enough that I’m making it twice a week most weeks with little incentive to experiment.
Here it is in pictures.
First the starter, taken out of the fridge before I go to bed and fed with a mug of baker’s flour mixed with a mug of water. A cup and a half of it put back in a jar with a loosely fitting lid in the fridge. The rest (about a cup and a half full) left in a bowl covered with a tea towel on the bench overnight.
Then the uncooked mix. In the morning, add a handful each of rolled triticale, rolled oats, oat bran, crushed linseeds, crushed pepitas, and rye flour. Stir in and let soak.
Then the porridge mix. While I move around making cofee, getting dressed, eating breakfast, I cook up a bread porridge. It starts with a handful of pearled barley, a handful of buckwheat, and a handful of millet, and a good teaspoon of salt. When they have had 5 minutes or so of boiling head start, I add a handful of quinoa and a handful of oat groats. I cook until the grains are just cooked and the water all absorbed, trying to stir as little as possible and being careful not to overcook. I want the grains distinct, not mush. I turn it off an let it cool for a few minutes.
Then I make the bread dough. Stir the porridge into the starter mix, stir in a couple of handfuls of wholemeal wheat flour, then tip the shaggy dough mix out onto the well floured benchtop. I knead in enough unbleached baker’s flour (high gluten flour) to make a smooth dough. It varies depending on how wet the porridge mix is and how generous I was with handfuls, but generally it’s about a cup to a cup and a half of baker’s flour. I put a slurp of oil in a bowl, roll the dough round in it, then leave to sit on the kitchen bench, covered with a cloth, for the day. (in summer with ants around I have to set the whole lot in a pie dish full of water).
By the time I get home in the afternoon, the dough is like this. On a warm day, it only takes about 4 hours really, a bit longer if my starter hadn’t been fed for a few days. The next bit really depends on the temperature. In winter, I used to give the dough a quick knead, roll the top of the log of dough in sesame seeds (they don’t stick if you just sprinkle them), put it into an oiled bread tin, and slash the top. Then leave it covered on the benchtop again and hope it rose enough to bake at 7 pm, to be out of the oven before I turn into a pumpkin at 8 pm. But lately, with the warm weather, I’ve been putting it in the fridge to slow it down and get a more even second rise. If it rises too fast, the texture is uneven with crumbly bits in the middle. If it rises too slow, the sourness develops. About an hour and a half to double in size is perfect. Then I put it into a cold oven, set to medium, and bake for around an hour till it sounds hollow when knocked.
It’s really good as toast with avocado and tomato, or as a sandwich with hummus and lettuce and tomato, or…