Libby's Favourite Sourdough

My current fav (April 2017) - it's yummy & pretty good for you with the addition of pumpkin seed flour & psyllium to boost the levels of protein & fibre in the loaf.    

To make this bread as pictured above you will need a sourdough starter and either a banneton (sourdough basket) or a small serving bowl/large pasta bowl. You can read a little about converting wheat/rye based sourdough starters here

I usually prove the dough overnight in the fridge (if it's a hot night or I'm going to be busy the next day) or on the bench (if it's going to be a cold night). 

Sourdough Starter

50 g of previous days leaven

50 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

100 g Lukewarm water

5 g Sugar (your choice)

50 - 70 g Roasted sweet potato

The remaining 150 g of the previous days leaven I either use to make bread (below) or put it on the humus heap.

I'm not gentle when it comes to mixing the starter - I find the easiest way to mix is with a stab blender. It's quick & gets the lumps out.

Roasted sweet potato - I usually bake it whole for 1 - 1.5 hours (depending on the size). I blend it with a food processor & freeze it in ice cube trays. Two of my roasted sweet potato ice cubes weigh ~70 g. I've fed my culture on one ice cube of sweet potato however the culture is not as active. The water content of the roasted sweet potato will vary & may affect the final shape of your loaf.   

Ingredients

370 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

30 g Pumpkin Seed Flour

12 - 14 g Psyllium husk powder

2 tsp Salt

10 - 16 g Sugar (your choice)

150 g Sourdough starter (leaven)

50 g Oil (I use Rice bran)

350 - 400 g Water

5 g Coffee sugar crystals (optional)

Extra maize starch

Water - the amount of water added will affect the shape of the loaf as will the method of mixing. If you use 400 g of water you will need to bake it at 200 C for at least an hour.

Coffee sugar crystals - I add these at the end of mixing. My reasoning for doing this is to produce an irregular crumb (texture of the bread) without creating humongous holes. The sugar will slowly dissolve during proving & become available to the surrounding yeast. These yeast will produce more gas thereby creating little small pockets of gas.  

Method

Prepare your banneton. If using a serving/pasta bowl you want to coat the inside of the bowl with flour to stop the dough from sticking to the bowl. Lightly oil or spray a fine mist of water on the inside of the bowl then dust with sifted flour. Lightly spray another coat of oil or water then dust with sifted flour again.

Thermomix

Place all ingredients in the TM bowl apart from the coffee sugar crystals.

Mix @ 37o C for 2.5 mins at speed 4.

Ensure all ingredients are incorporated. If not, scrape down the sides and briefly mix again.

Gently fold in the coffee sugar crystals. 

Stand Mixer

Combine ingredients (exclude the coffee sugar crystals) using the flat beater until a uniform consistency is achieved. You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides. 

Gently fold in the coffee sugar crystals. 

Both Methods

Transfer the dough to the proving basket or your prepared bowl. Let the dough proof overnight in the fridge or on the kitchen bench if the room is coolish. I usually put the proving basket into a large sealable plastic bag to stop the top of the dough from drying out. In the morning check your dough to see how much it has risen. If you think that it needs longer let it prove for longer at room temperature. If you have to be somewhere put it back in the fridge until you're ready. The actual time will depend on many factors particularly how active your sourdough starter (leaven) is (& how busy you are).

Turn your oven on to 200o C. 

Before scoring the top ensure that the dough has risen ~1.5X. You want the dough to have risen but you want it to rise a little more in the oven to make the pattern stand out. Turn the dough out of the basket on to a piece of baking paper. Lightly dust with maize starch & brush off any excess (I'm still learning what is excess). Use the tip of a very sharp knife or a razor blade & make a pattern in the top of the dough (for inspiration google images of sourdough scoring patterns). 

You can bake the bread on baking paper on a baking tray or by baking in a pre-heated dutch oven/heavy duty casserole dish. If using the latter cut the baking paper around the dough so that it can fit into the dutch oven. Carefully transfer the dough on top of the baking paper to the dutch oven.

Bake at 200o C for ~1 hr. The time will vary depending on the individual oven. If your oven has a hot spot turn the bread halfway through baking. Baking the bread for longer will result in a wonderfully crusty bread.  

Take out of the oven & cool the bread on a cooling rack. Ensure the bread is sufficiently cooled before cutting into it.

When the bread is more than a day old I refresh the bread by sprinkling it with a little water & putting it back in the oven for ~20 mins at 180o C.

Simply enjoy!