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a living loaf.

A good man is the friend of all living things. – Mahatma Gandhi

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I just love a good picnic. Sun’s out, the gun’s are out and it’s afternoon’s on the rocky beaches of Montenegro with a backpack full of sangas and a bottle of rosé. It’s the simple things in life that make me happy…. especially when the fun revolves around food.

I’ve been trialling a few sourdough recipes over the last few months and I’ve finally found one I love – soft, sour and spongy on the inside with a hard crispy farmers loaf crust on the outside.

As most people know, a good sourdough is only made awesome with a good sourdough starter. When taken care of and fed regularly, a sourdough starter can last for years. And like most good things in life, they only get better with age!
I’ve been growing mine for about four months now, he’s called Sambo. I sing him rap songs and feed him twice a day and in return he helps me turn out some of the best bread I’ve made in years. It’s a winning relationship that just keeps on giving!

Sourdough is your healthy option when it comes to bread. More digestible than standard bread and packed full of healthy nutrients. It contains the bacteria Lactobacillus in a higher proportion to yeast than most other breads. Lactobacillus promotes lactic acids which encourage more vitamins and minerals to the body. The acids slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream and lower the bread’s glycaemic index (GI).

I’ve adapted this Spelt sourdough from a recipe I found on The Clever Carrot where you will find loads of interesting information on sourdough’s and how to make yours extra awesome.

Crusty Spelt Sourdough

Ingredients
150g active, fed starter
250g water
3 tbsp olive oil
500g spelt flour (I used half white spelt, and half multigrain)
1 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
cornflour for dusting

Instructions
Combine the starter, water, olive oil and bread flour in a bowl and shape into a ball.
Cover and rest for 3o minutes.
Add the salt and combine. Lift and fold the dough until the salt is fully incorporated, kneed for about 5 minutes then shape into a ball. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel. You can leave to rest in a warm place for up to 12 hours.
I like to do these first steps around 7pm so that when I wake in the morning I can continue the recipe and have a fresh loaf of bread for lunch.
Once the dough has risen and is no longer dense. Remove from the bowl and knead again lightly on a floured surface. Coat the bottom of your dutch oven/bread tin with cornflour. Shape your dough into a ball and leave to rise again in the dutch oven. This third rise should only take an hour or two.Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and slash a small incision in the top of the dough about a couple of inches long.
Place your loaf in the oven with the lid on for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes, open the door of your oven a little for the moisture to escape. This will give you a nice crust.
Your loaf is ready when it makes a hollow sound when tapped.
Cool the bread on a wire rack and slice once fully cooled.

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