- Sourdough Bread -

:: Posted :: 2020-04

We've made bread in our family for forty years or more since we were 'converted' by Elizabeth David while living in Chelsea. At least, I thought she was the author of the tiny pamphlet we bought in her cook shop: The Little Brown Bread Book. Now, I'm not so sure. I can't find our original booklet, and a web search suggests it was probably written by David Eno - so my apologies if I've always failed to give him the credit due.

My son-in-law interested me in sourdough in 2016. He's more inclined towards the artisan end of things - fixated on 'crumb' and shaping near-liquid dough into the sort of elegant loaves Hobbs Bakery of Nailsworth will sell you for a handsome price. However, he gave me very useful advice, and some excellent equipment including an expensive Dutch Oven. Read Tartine by Chad Robertson & you'll get the picture.

My own efforts began fussily enough, but have settled down into a very relaxed process. I prepare the bread in a food mixer while making tea first thing in the morning & bung the loaf into the airing cupboard to rise. Around ten o'clock at night I haul it out and pop it into a cold oven at Gas Mark 4 for 42 minutes. The smell as it cooks is enough to get you wielding a bread knife straight away, but it's safer to leave it on a cooling rack until breakfast next day by which time it cuts cleanly.

The link below is for the recipe I use, plus basic guidance on making a starter. Good luck if you decide to try it. Once hooked you'll struggle to enjoy any other kind of bread.

Recipe PDF for download

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