I have long wanted to make sourdough bread. But the idea of having to “feed” the starter dough every now and then and leave it at a constant temperature of 20C to 25C in the initial stages was a big hurdle to me (everyone who lives in Ireland would tell you that temperatures are never that constant and particularly in winter, it’s a struggle to keep a room at en even temperature, never mind 20C).
So I have never attempted making sourdough bread. That is until recently when I found this great recipe for a bread that takes almost no attention (not even kneading)! Because you leave the dough to ferment for 3 days minimum, you will get a bread with a beautiful sourdough-like flavour and the cocotte cooking method will produce a nice thick crispy crust. It was the best bread I have ever made and I will certainly make it very often from now on since it’s such a breeze to make (you don’t even need a Thermomix)!
Source: J’en reprendrai bien un bout
1 & 1/2 sachet of dry instant yeast (or 20g fresh yeast)
700g warm water (or cold if using Thermomix)
1kg strong white flour
- Weigh the water in the bowl and add the yeast. Warm 3 min/37C/speed 3.
- Add 750g flour and the salt and mix for 20 sec/speed 4.
- Add the remaining 250g flour and mix 20 sec/speed 4.
- Press the reverse blade button and mix another 20 sec/speed 4 or until the flour is all mixed in.
- Tip out the dough into a large bowl (turn the TM bowl upside-down onto the bowl and release the blades to easily empty it).
- Cover the bowl with cling film and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours or until doubled in volume (I always put my dough in a turned off oven, which I have previsouly warmed to about 40C).
- Place the bowl in the fridge or a cold place (~5C) for at least 3 days and maximum 15 days.
- Tip: to clean your hands and TM bowl, don’t use water straight away but add a little bit of flour to dry the bits of dough and rub it off into the bin. When most of the dough is gone, then use water to finish cleaning. This will avoid clogging your drain pipes!
- After the resting time, take out a portion of bread dough (I took half the dough to form a 1 pound loaf) and form into a ball with your hands on a floured surface. Place it in a cast iron cocotte (also known as Dutch oven) lined with baking parchment. Score the top of the dough with a sharp blade, sprinkle with flour and close the lid. Let the dough rise for 1 hour (I again used the oven as a raising chamber). It should rise by a third.
- Place with the lid on in the oven and cook at 240C for 45 to 50 minutes (don’t preheat the oven).
Method (non Thermomix)
- Use luke warm water and mix with the yeast in a large bowl. Leave to stand 10 minutes to make sure the yeast is well dissolved.
- Add the flour and salt and mix with a spoon (or your hands) until the flour is mixed in.
- Proceed as above from step 6.