The odd time I've had a few days rest from feeding it, the oozing mass was reduced to around half a cup in volume and placed into a mug covered loosely with plastic wrap in the fridge. There has been one occasion so far when I've not been organised enough to bake with the discarded starter..the rest of times seeing it go into a dough of some sort.
Today saw a couple of grainy loaves and since I'm all out of wholemeal flour (how can this be??), white they had to be.
|Mixed grain sourdough - simple yet satisfying|
I found that preparing the dough over a few days made for less work if that's at all possible as naturally leavened breads require hardly any work at all to make!
Day 1: feed starter, leave out at room temperature overnight
Day 2: make dough in evening, place in fridge overnight
Day 3: Remove dough from fridge, fold (gently knead) dough at intervals. Shape, rise and bake
My new breadmaking routine is to bake in the evening, allowing the bread to stand and cool overnight before slicing the following morning. I find this suits my day and I am not rushing at any point in the bread making exercise.
Sourdough Grain Loaf
850g bread flour
150g (1 1/2 cups approx) mixed grains
2 1/2-3 tsp sea salt
Prepare the dough by placing the leaven and water together in a large bowl. Mix well and then add the grains and flour. Mix well by hand or with dough hooks. Allow to stand for 1-2 hours before adding salt. Place in fridge overnight.
The following day, whenever it is convenient, remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to de-chill for an hour or so by the fire or in a sunny spot. Knead (fold) briefly on a floured surface at intervals of about 1/2 hour for 2-3 hours (basically whenever you remember!). Shape and place in proofing baskets/tins and allow to rise again until nicely puffy. During this time preheat oven to 220c. Score the dough - lightly for the forgotten loaves that are well and truly risen and puffing out of their skins, or deeply for the young dough that needs to be baked now so you can leave them to cool while you go out to do kids activity pick-ups.
Bake for 20 minutes with a little steam, reduce oven temp to 200c and rotate loaves then bake for a further 20 minutes or so until golden brown all over. Refrain from freaking out when the scoring doesn't turn out the way you had hoped - It's. Just. Bread! It all goes down the same way!!
Cool for 12 hours on a wire rack. Slice and serve or freeze for later use.Very important - remember to feed your leaven 'baby' for next time.