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How To Make Sourdough Bread Masterclass


{an8} So what we’re going to do now is, is we’re going to show you how to
make some sourdough bread. Sourdough has got quite
fashionable and trendy. It’s on a lot of restaurant menus. Sourdough is trending since about
5000 B.C. It’s the oldest form of
leavened bread. So while we think we’ve a big
tradition with soda bread, your granny might have made it – this is what her
granny’s granny used to make. This is what we’re all
trying to get back to. So the big revolution,
the big future in food, the future in bread, is about going
back. Back to the past. And this is what we’re trying
to get back to. Beautiful,
beautiful sourdoughs, naturally fermented,
with our seeded sourdough a bit of malthouse. As I say, you could have a
hundred different types. In order
to make sourdough bread, is to make your sourdough starter,
or your sourdough culture. The process is very, very simple. It’s simply just a mix of
flour and water. So we’ve got 50 grams of flour and to that we’re adding
50 mls of water. Stir it together. And that is simply it. Now what we’re going to do
is to leave that to sit out in your kitchen,
just gently covered, ambient temperature, overnight,
for about 12 hours. So at the moment, we’re
surrounded by wild yeast. It’s a good strain of bacteria,
it exists everywhere. You breathe it in everyday. And then basically
over a process of using simply just flour
and just water, it eventually picks up that
bacteria in the air. And that bacteria starts to ferment.
It starts to live off the protein within the flour,
so it starts to rise and collapse. Realistically it takes about
7 or 10 days to make it. But for a lot of people,
I know, I’m not making a loaf of bread if
it takes 7 or 10 days to make it, but the idea is, once you
get up and going once, that’s virtually about it. As long as you don’t use it all,
you’ll never run out. So you only have to do it
one time in your life. So we’ll mix it together,
flour and water. About 12 hours later,
it looks a little bit like this. So at this stage,
we would be due to mix this with another 50 grams of flour
and another 50 mls of water. Stir it together and that’s it. Again, we let it sit overnight. Day 3 we repeat the process. Then on Day 4,
we can already see it’s starting to become
lovely and bubbly. You can see all these little bubbles
coming lovely and active. And this is the sign of life
starting to form. This is exactly what
we’re looking for. It’s starting to ferment. It’s all the good things in life –
wine, beer, cheese, bread. All based on the same principle. So you will find it starts to take
on a sweet, vinegary kind of smell. But don’t worry, that’s exactly
what we’re looking for. But if you find a little liquid
starting to come away from it, don’t worry about that either,
just put it straight back in. So we’re going to give this
another day. And we’re going to feed it again –
one more time. And by the time it’s ready, most likely on about Day 7. Don’t worry
if you find that maybe, on Day 6 or Day 7,
it’s not exactly there yet. Don’t be afraid to give it
an extra day. Because it will differ, depending on
the environment it was kept in. So if it needs an extra day, just
give it an extra day. But now we’ve got our lovely
active sourdough. It’s got that lovely vinegary smell. You can see it’s been kind of rising
up the glass. This started about here earlier on
and now it’s climbed up to here. So it’ll continue to rise and then it will drop back down. So at this stage,
it’s basically ready to go. Well, if I’m completely honest,
this is Day 2. This is Day 4. And this is Year 9. I’ve had this for 9 years. So as long as I don’t use it all,
I’ll never run out. So all I’ll simply do, for example
after we make our bread today, I will have 200 grams left over. I will simply stir in 200 flour,
200 water, and tomorrow,
it’s ready to go again. Because I keep mine
at room temperature, I’ve to feed mine everyday. But for the home-baker, who might
only bake once a week, or at weekends
when you’ve a bit more time, it can become quite an expensive pet
to keep if you feed it every day. So what you can simply do
is keep yours in the fridge. Because it’s based on bacteria,
cold won’t kill it. It’ll just slow it down. So for example, you’re going to be
baking on a Saturday morning. Take it out of your fridge on a
Friday, just leave it sit in your kitchen
to take the chill off it. That evening, say whatever weight
you have. For example, 200 grams. Stir in 200 flour, 200 water
leave it sit in your kitchen. Next morning it’s going to be
lovely and bubbly. lovely and active,
ready to make your bread. Take what you need to
make your bread, whatever is left over,
back in your fridge, that’s it. So you’ve a little
once a week cycle. You find it gets better with age –
the flavour starts to develop. So even if you’re not baking, you still have to feed it, because
technically it is alive. So if you’re building up too much, just bin some away, just keep back
enough to keep it going. And the easiest ratio to work off, is whatever weight you have here, same weight of flour,
same weight of water. Could not be simpler. Now, in order to make our
sourdough bread, we’ve got our sourdough starter.
As I say, it takes about a week. Get it going today, you’ll be ready
by next weekend. Ready to go,
perfect to make your bread. If not,
you could always get down to your local baker. Most real bread bakeries will
happily give you some starter. If you check out
realbreadireland.org it’s got all the real bread bakers
across Ireland. And most of them like myself, are
happy to give you a little starter, if you can’t get your own going. So with this one, we’re going to
make enough for two loaves. The great thing about this is
we can bake two loves. We can pop one in the freezer and
have one to try fresh in the day. And sourdough comes
back great from the freezer. So we’ve get 800 grams
of strong flour. To this… we’re going to add 460 mls, or 460 grams of water. We’re taking about
10 grams of salt. Salt is an essential ingredient. Salt acts as a natural flavour
enhancer. We’ve got our flour,
we’ve got our water, we’ve got our salt
and then finally, we just need a little bit of our
sourdough starter. So we’re using 320 grams. Just make sure we don’t use it all. Like you would any other recipe,
just add your yeast straight in. And in this case,
our sourdough starter. Once your ingredients are all in, just start bringing everything
together. So once the dough roughly comes
together, just dump it, straight out on the table. The gluten forms
once we add a liquid. At the moment,
the gluten is quite weak. So we want to build up the
strength of our dough, by what we call kneading. The idea of kneading
is you simply stretch and work the dough. So you will find the dough goes
a little bit wet and a little bit sticky. Generally everyone’s reaction at
home is to immediately reach for some flour
and keep adding in there. But if you keep adding flour, the
dough will quite happily soak it up. And then the more it soaks it up,
the heavier the dough becomes and the tighter
your bread will be. So when it comes to kneading,
you will get a lot of recipes suggesting the best technique,
how best to knead. To be honest, the one piece of
advice I give most people is think about somebody
you don’t like, and just go for it! So I tend to use the heel of my
hand, a little short stretch, and then use my fingers. Just pin the dough between
here and here and hook it back. And if you can pick yourself up
a little dough scraper, absolutely great. It’s almost like a little extension
of your hand. Bring it all back together again
and keep working away. So most recipes will suggest how
long to need for. Most of them will say
8 to 10 minutes. Most of them are lying,
but the thing is, it’s very difficult for a recipe to
be exact. Because everybody is
a little bit different. Some people are just stronger than
others, some days you’re tired. The dough will always tell you
when it’s ready. There’s a thing called the
window-pane effect. You can see it’s getting elastic,
it’s getting there. But as I stretch and work it out,
it’s just ripping, it’s tearing. And that’s just the dough telling me
it’s not ready. It just needs a little more work.
So just keep on going. And if you do have a mixer at home,
feel free to use it. The dough hook will do exactly the
same thing as your hands are doing. You’re going to feel the dough
starting to change. You can even see already,
how beautiful and silky how lovely and smooth
the dough has become. Like you saw earlier,
when we tested it initially, it just kept ripping, it kept
tearing. So we’ll take a little oil in your hands. It’ll stop the dough
from sticking to you. And nice and gently stretch the
dough, working it out. You can see the shadows,
the membrane behind it. It’s exactly what we’re looking for. So earlier,
that just ripped and tore. But now, that’s holding.
It’s elastic. It’s got the strength we need,
that’s exactly what we’re looking
for. So bring your dough back together. Back into one piece.
Into your bowl. And now I’m going to let it prove. With sourdough however, because
it’s a more natural process, everything tends to happen much,
much slower. So where most yeast recipes need
to prove for about an hour, this one, we’re going to be looking
at about three hours. So you need to leave it
plenty of time. So we’re going to let this prove
for three hours. So when you come back to it, you’ll be looking at
something like this. What we’ll be doing now, is we’re
simply knocking our dough back. Because as much as we say the
longer you prove it the better, you don’t want to over-prove
your bread. Simply take it out of your bowl and try and make it into
a round ball. And again, don’t over-think it. By making it into a ball,
you’ll have simply knocked it back
knocked all the air from it. So you’re kind of back to where you
would have been three hours ago. So now, what we need to do
at this stage, is we need to shape our dough. So with the quantity we made,
it gives us the perfect portion to make two lovely sized loaves. So when we’re shaping our breads,
we use proving baskets. Because it’s going to be proving
for another three hours, it would just slowly start
to prove out, and go very, very flat. So by using the basket, it gives the
dough support. It encourages it to take on that
shape, so instead of proving out, it proves up. But if you don’t have
a basket, you could use absolutely anything. A tin, a tray,
a box, a bowl. It’s simply something that’s going
to support and help your dough out. And probably,
I’m sure all of us have… a Pyrex dish at home. If you don’t have it, your mum has,
your gran has. They’re always kicking
around everywhere. We take a little flour
and dust it all over. Coating it
with a little coating of flour, will stop the dough from sticking. So the best thing to do is simply
take a clean tea-towel. You could use your mixing bowl,
or whatever you like. Pop your tea-towel in. And again just a good generous
coating of flour. Just to make sure that the dough
won’t stick. So all that’s left to do now
is to shape our dough. So no matter what we’re shaping, we always kind of start
from a round base. Again, try not to use too much
flour. Just a very gentle coating if you
find your dough is a little soft or a little bit sticky.
Simply flip your dough over. Take all your little edges and push
them down to the centre. Go to the next one. And then overlap the last. Round and round you
go and you can see it naturally starting
to curve around. So I flip the dough over. Put your hands out and
simply drag them forward. You’ll find the dough lifts up. Turn it 45 degrees and go again. Keep repeating,
each time the surface of the dough
is getting that little bit tighter. A little roll around. And now we have a perfect little
loaf ready to go. And pop it into our basket
upside down. And it’s into our little Pyrex dish
with our tea-towel. And just so it doesn’t stick, a little dusting of flour. And now with the tea-towel,
you simply tuck it straight in. So we just tucked our dough in and
we’re going to let it prove again. It needs to prove for about another
three to three and a half hours. The great thing about this though
is, at this stage, you could go and put this straight
in the fridge. And it can sit there all night long,
no problem whatsoever. Because, with our sourdough,
it’s moving lovely and slowly. And some yeasted breads would
tend to overprove in the fridge. Sourdough really lends itself
to be proven overnight. So we’ll leave it there all night.
First thing tomorrow morning, we’ll come back,
take our dough out turn it straight out
and into our oven and we’ll bake it away. Our sourdough has been proving,
they’ve had a second prove now. We had them shaping. We had one
in our lovely proving basket. And our second one
in our lovely Pyrex dish. So at this stage
they are ready to bake. Your dough should have a
nice little bounce to it. You should be able to touch it and
there’s no fear of it collapsing. So if you kind of touch it and felt
the whole thing was going to drop, you’ve overproved it, so the idea is
at least you know for next time, catch it a little sooner.
The idea is we catch it on the rise. Have your baking tray ready. If you’re using a proving basket or
lucky to have one at home, so simply like a sandcastle, just
turn your dough straight out. So you can see
all that beautiful pattern which the dough picks up
from the basket. That’s what gives this dough a lot
of its traditional markings. So then we’ve also got our lovely
Pyrex dish. It’s a great way
to improvise at home. It’s been tucked in for the last
couple of hours. We’re going to gently waken it up. And all you do, very simply, just in case it’s going to stick, we’ll put a little bit of flour
on our dough. So we take our lid,
you pop your lid on. And you literally just flip it
upside down. So take it off. Nice and gently, just remove your
flour and tea-towel. Most professional ovens
are fitted with steam. The idea being for the first 8 to 10
minutes of your bake, the dough is still rising. So by having steam in the oven,
it allows the dough to open up. And it stops a crust from forming. Because often what can happen
if you don’t use steam, curst forms, the dough hasn’t
finished rising, and sometimes it can’t break
through the surface. It gets a bulge out the side because it’ll look for any weakness
in the dough. Or sometimes it won’t rise at all.
So by having steam in the oven it protects the dough and allows it
to continue to open up. That’s also what helps to create
your lovely little crust. This is why the Pyrex dish is
so great, it’s so brilliant. Because no matter
how crappy your oven is, you don’t even have to steam it,
because basically once we pop the lid on, it’s going
to basically self steam. It creates its own little chamber. And it’ll steam the bread and does
a perfect job for us. Before we do that though, we’re
going to score our bread. It dates back to central ovens. Each village would have one,
everyone would help maintain it. So the only way to tell your bread
apart is how you mark it. It’s called a baker’s signature. We use a razor blade. The thing to remember when you’re
using it, it’s not a bread knife, so don’t start doing this.
Be nice and confident. So a really sharp knife at home
if you can. When you’re in full control… And don’t be afraid
to cut into your dough. Just make sure you
cut all the way through. So by scoring it,
as well as aesthetics it also helps you to control
how the dough rises and gives the dough
somewhere to go. So when it comes to baking your
dough, don’t be afraid to turn the temperature
of your oven up. We all have a tendency to cook
absolutely everything at 180. It’s like the universal setting
on an oven. But with bread, we need those good
high temperatures. So really crank it up.
So you’re looking at a minimum of 230 degrees.
We need that high temperature to create that lovely, lovely crust. So a great way we can create steam
at home, is by as we pop our bread in, and pop in our little Pyrex dish. Once you pre-heat the oven, just turn it right up,
put in a roasting tray and pre-heat it and all I’m doing is
taking some hot water… Which is going to release that
lovely blast of steam into our oven which is going to help
your bread rise. {an8}

About Earl Carter

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