Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tasty Spiced Sourdough Bread

Recently I made a sourdough starter (which is really not as scary as you might think!). While I used it a few times, I don't bake very regularly and I was finding that I was wasting a lot of flour just keeping my sourdough alive and well but not using it. So on Sunday I thought, I'll just use it all up now and then maybe I'll restart it another time if I decide to do more baking. Because there was so much starter I was a bit worried it would taste too sour, so I decided to get into the Easter spirit and make a spiced loaf - kind of like hot cross buns, but lazier. The resulting bread was so delicious that I'm kinda regretting using up all my starter!

Here's how I did it (I didn't use any measurements but I'll try to approximate).
  1. I used all my white flour starter, about two cups, and added the rest of my white flour, again about two cups. Then I added water to bring it to a nice consistency. 
  2. I mixed it all up and left it overnight with a sheet of baking paper over the top.
  3. The next day it was pretty pungent! I preheated my oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 Farenheit). 
  4. Then I added approx. a capful of apple cider vinegar, a generous pinch of bicarbonate soda, and about a tablespoon of brown sugar and I mixed it in.
  5. Then it was time for the spices! I added lots of allspice (probably a couple of teaspoons), and a little ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground ginger. I think it would have been nicer if I'd added a little more ginger - I only put in a tiny pinch. Nutmeg would probably be a nice addition as well.
  6. I mixed this all in until the dough had a nice stretchy consistency. Then I lined a small crockpot with baking paper (you might want to use grease if you don't want to eat little bits of paper stuck to your bread!) and whacked it all in!
  7. As I put it in the oven (this is one of the best breadbaking tips I've ever had, by the way) I tipped about a half cup of water into the tray so that there was steam everywhere. This gives the bread a really good crust.
  8. Then I just left it in there for about an hour. Then I had to go somewhere and it wasn't quite done, so I turned the heat up to maximum for ten minutes, then turned the oven off and left the house with the bread still in there. 
  9. When I got home it was still a bit warm, so I had some with butter and honey, and it was divine! If you want to keep it vegan, I'd suggest a coconut spread like Nuttelex with maple or agave syrup. Delicious! 

I think the things that really made this recipe amazing were: the rise/texture of the dough, which I attribute mostly to the  apple cider vinegar/baking soda addition; the flavour, which was a combination of the sourdough starter and the spices; and the crust, which was partly because of the steam in step 7 and I suspect partly because of the extra high temperature blast I gave it in step 8.

If you give this a go, please let me know! I'd love to hear all about it :)

P.S. Here are some more cool links about bread I found while googling around!


No comments:

Post a Comment