How To Make This Loaf (or something like it)

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Note: the sourdough is a separate culture that takes a while (this one is mere youngster of ten days old, and I intend to keep it for a long time.) The recipe below uses an overnight pre-ferment as a pretty good substitute.

The night before:

mix a half cup water with same measure strong while flour, and a quarter teaspoon of dried active yeast (the rest of the sachet goes in the main mixture.)

The day you are baking:

  1. Weigh your flour: 350g strong white bread flour, plus 150g wholemeal, rye, spelt or any mixture thereof.
  2. Mix 200ml cold water with 90ml boiling water from the kettle, and whisk in rest of yeast sachet.
  3. Mix yeast and water with flours until a loose dough forms. Leave for 20 minutes.
  4. Mix 2 tsp salt, 1tb oil (olive or rapeseed) and 1 tb golden syrup or sugar into dough. Mix in pre-ferment/sourdough from last night. Leave for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn out mixture onto clean surface, gather it up together and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth, springy and only slightly sticky (if at all).
  6. Form into a ball, return to bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave for an hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Turn out onto surface again, knock out air and knead briefly. Form into a loaf. Coat with a layer of flour. Move to a board or lipless baking tray (something a floured loaf will slide off easily). Leave to prove, with the piece of clingfilm over it, for c 45 minutes, until nicely risen.
  8. Turn on oven and heat to Gas 9, (really as high as you can get it.) If you have one, put baking stone in when you turn it on. (I got mine from Aldi for £3.99) If not pre-heat a baking tray.
  9. When oven has reached temperature, slash loaf diagonally 5 times, and slide onto hot baking stone or baking tray. Shut the door and set your timer for 10 minutes.
  10. When timer goes off, peek inside. If loaf is already golden, turn oven down to 5 and bake loaf for 30 minutes. (If it is not yet golden, wait another 5 minutes before doing so.)
  11. When baking time is complete, take out of oven and place on a rack. Check loaf is cooked by tapping bottom for hollow sound. (If in doubt cook for 5 minutes further.)
  12. Allow to cool for at least an hour before using: a loaf needs time to reabsorb moisture and to fix its structure before use.

Good luck! (If anyone tries it, please let me know how you get on.)

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