I know most of you don’t make your own bread and those that do, don’t need a recipe but I decided to prepare this post as I haven’t made bread with exactly these quantities before. By posting the recipe, if I want to make it again, I will not have to reinvent the wheel.
For those who don’t make your own bread, if you have the time, I implore you to give it a go. It is the best thing ever. The resultant bread is fantastic and it is so simple and cheap to make. Once you have tasted home made bread, you will realise how shit commercial bread is and, also, how relatively expensive.
We don’t eat that much bread in summer. I didn’t want to stack up the freezer with it because I am trying to clear out the freezer in readiness for our holiday but we had run out, so I had to make something. I decided to make two small loaves, one for the freezer and one for now. We will definitely finish these before the end of next month.
This recipe is based on a number of loaves I have already posted. For some unknown reason, I wanted to add some linseed this time so I amalgamated a couple of recipes. The technique is how I always make my bread.
- 70g linseed (flax seeds)
- 300g water
- 300g 100% hydration sourdough starter*
- 600g bread flour (I used all white but you could use 50/50 white/wholemeal)
- 100g water (extra)**
- 3 tsp salt
*If your starter is not 100% hydration, adjust the water content appropriately. 100% hydration starter merely means equal parts, by weight, of water and flour so, in this case, the 300g of starter is 150g of flour and 150g of water.
**As always, the water is an approximation but this is what I used.
The night before:
- Soak the linseed in the 300g of water and set aside.
- Feed your starter and leave it out on the bench. As it is quite warm here, I left mine outside. It is cooler there than in the house.
The next morning:
- Put all the ingredients (except the salt), including the soaking water, into your mixer bowl and mix on Low until just combined or, if kneading by hand, mix with a spoon until just combined. Cover and leave for 20 minutes.
- Add the salt and knead the dough in your electric mixer for 5 minutes or by hand until it is smooth (about 10 minutes). The dough should clear the sides of the bowl of the mixer and, near the end of the 5 minutes, begin to clear the bottom of the bowl. If it clears the sides and the bottom early in the kneading process, add a bit more water. If kneading by hand, it should be sticky – don’t add more flour.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and leave for 50 minutes.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured bench and do a stretch and fold. Return the dough to the oiled bowl.
- Cover and leave for 50 minutes.
- Do another stretch and fold, return the dough to the oiled bowl and leave for another 50 minutes.
- Divide and shape the dough into two. I decided to make two small sandwich loaves. I made 2 batards and then placed them right side up in my bread tins. My tins are 17.5 cm long and 10.5cm wide at the top. Alternatively, you could make one medium loaf, in which case use one tin about 24cm long and 10.5cm wide at the top or make one free-form loaf. I placed a piece of baking paper in the bottom of the tins just to make sure they released easily.
If you are a making free-form loaf, place the loaf upside down in a bowl lined with cloth and generously sprinkled with flour (or place the loaf in a banneton).
- Cover and leave to rise again until almost doubled in bulk. In this weather, mine took 3-4 hours. Alternatively, if it is late, place the loaves in the fridge overnight. Next morning, take them out and leave to rise until almost doubled in bulk.
- An hour before you are ready to bake, place two ceramic tiles in your oven and preheat it to its hottest temperature.
- When ready to bake, place the tins in the oven on the tiles.
- Turn the oven to 235˚C and cook for 10 minutes. Spray the loaves 2 or 3 times with water in the first few minutes.
- Reduce temperature to 210˚C and cook another 25 minutes.
- Take loaves out of the oven and release them from their tins. Cool on a cake rack.
If you are making a free-form loaf, follow the baking instructions in my Pain au Levain with Mixed Sourdough Starters post. Here is the link. If you are making one medium loaf rather than two small loaves, cook it for about 45 minutes.