Big Bread Bake Off
So everyone’s into baking now, or so it seems. Can’t say as I’m a cake lover but I sure do like my homemade bread writes Sandra Tate…You just can’t beat the smell of homemade bread, so today I lit up the Kamado Joe to bake a couple of hefty loaves of sourdough and tantalise the neighbours. It takes a long while to make, but the effort required is minimal, sour dough is just a waiting game.
For sour you must, of course, have to have the mother substance, the starter which will be your substitute for bakers yeast. This is mine, fed every time I take from it; it has now given about 6 years’ service, kept in the fridge and ready for my twice weekly bake. It would take a post all of its own to describe how to make your starter in the first instance so I suggest that you consult the experts – like Richard Bertinet, or Dan Lepard.
Start the proceedings the night before by scooping 150g starter dough into a large, clean bowl together with 140g water, 2 tsp honey (optional) and 200g strong white bread flour. Mix thoroughly with hands or a pastry scraper – at this stage, kneading isn’t necessary – then cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.
The following morning uncover the bowl (the dough will be a bubble filled puddle, it’s supposed to look like that) and add 225g water, 100g light rye flour and 200g strong white bread flour plus 10g salt. Mix thoroughly with a dough scraper then turn out onto a clean surface and knead the dough for up to 10 minutes until elastic. Form into a ball and return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp tea cloth. At 1 hour intervals, reform the dough into a ball and cover. Do this 2 or 3 times. Now leave until the dough is doubled in size and is ready to be formed. This will probably be by mid-afternoon!
Now is the time to get the Kamado grill lit and up to a constant temperature of 200°C with the heat deflector at low level and the pizza stone at high level.
Form the dough into a tight shape and leave to prove in a bread proving basket or in folded linen. Once doubled, get out to Kamado and dust the hot pizza stone with rye flour, turn the bread onto the stone and quickly slash a couple of times with a serrated knife. Lid down, bake for 40-50 minutes until browned and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom. transfer to a wire rack to cool – and resist the urge to cut into it while it’s still hot!