So, it all begins with a starter, flour and water, a mix that is now about 24 months old. I keep it in the fridge during the week, and on Thursday mornings I bring it out, let it get to room temperature and feed it Thursday night, again Friday morning, ready to turn into bread Friday night. The bread, once mixed and stretched and partly proved, goes into the fridge also overnight prepared to be baked off Saturday morning. All this effort is well worth it though because the mix makes up 3 x medium-sized loaves that keep the family fed during the weekend and most of the week.
One of the loaves gets sliced up and put into the freezer. Fresh bread though, on a Saturday morning with a fresh pot of coffee is heaven-sent. The house smells so amazing, and the kids love this breakfast so much that it has become a firm favourite in our home. It’s tempting to dive straight into a hot loaf from the oven, but it’s best left for at least an hour or so, to let the crust form. Usually, I leave the utility door open ajar and let the outside cold air take some of the heat off.
Making sourdough bread like this has been about four years in the making and only really in the last two years with any degree of success. It takes time to perfect, though I did take a sourdough course two years ago, that helped refine my workflow and method and give me the confidence to keep going. Buying some tools, like a decent ‘lame’, basically a sharp knife, though the one I have has a razor blade on the end, cuts through the dough and leaves nice clean lines. There are pages and pages of images on Pinterest if you’re looking for tips and ideas of different ways to score your bread. Basically, in the past, the olden days, families would bake bread in a communal oven, and the various ways of scoring bread were used to identify whose bread was whose.