Easy Sourdough Tin-Loaf
I absolutely adore fresh sourdough bread! And after much trial and error I have come up with a method of sourdough making that is easy and non-faffy enough to fit into my routine a couple of times a week.
It doesn’t give you the ‘traditional’ looking sourdough loaves (I bake it in two 2 lb loaf tins) – but it has great taste and texture and just needs a bit of forward planning as it’s a 2 day process!
(For a more crunchy, holey, classic style of sourdough, try my updated sourdough recipe...you'll need a proving basket though)
It’s fairly easy to get hold of a mature sourdough starter from a bakery or someone else who makes sourdough….or google how to make your own!!
Easy Sourdough Instructions
This recipe makes 2 x 2lb loaves. I bake them in 2lb loaf tins, but you can use round cake tins instead if you dont have loaf tins.
Ongoing Starter Maintenance: Keep your Starter in a lidded container in the fridge. Once a week (minimum) you need to ‘feed’ it by throwing away half the starter and then adding a couple of tablespoons fresh white bread flour and a couple of tablespoons fresh water and mixing it well. If you’re baking a lot, you may need to feed it more often or with larger amounts of flour and water to maintain the amount of starter you need.
In the morning- Create your Active starter:
Measure 100g of your Starter into a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon cold water. Mix together well and cover with a tea towel and leave for between 6-12 hours to become ‘active’. (Note: if you are using and feeding your starter regularly – ie 3 times a week or more – then you can skip this step as it will already be active)
In the evening- Make the dough:
Add to the mixing bowl which contains your active starter:
· 700 grams strong bread flour (you can use any type – wholemeal, granary, white, rye or a mixture).
· 17 grams fine salt
· 500ml warm water
· 100 grams mixed seeds (optional)
In the bowl, mix everything together with a fork to make a sticky dough.
Then over the course of an hour, every 15 minutes you need to give the dough 4 ‘folds’ or ‘turns’. I use a dough scraper or spatula but you can do it with your hands if you prefer. Don’t panic too much about the technique – it’s just to mix it together! You’ll notice the dough becoming smoother, more stretchy and less sticky with each set of folds.
After 4 sets of folds, divide the mixture into 2 loaf tins (either grease it well with oil or line with baking parchment loaf liners)
The dough needs to prove in the tins for 8-12 hours, ideally covered (but with nothing touching the dough). I tend to just leave them in a cold (turned off) oven overnight.
Bake your Sourdough: By the morning the dough should have risen to fill the tin. If it’s very cold you may need to give them a bit longer, or pop them next to a radiator for a couple of hours.
Turn your oven on to 240 degrees C and tip a kettleful of boiling water into a shallow tray in the bottom of your oven (the steam reacts with the dough to create the crunchy, caramelised crust)
When the oven is hot and steamy, sprinkle the loaves with flour, and use a very sharp knife to make some deep slashes in the top of the dough (to help it expand and rise) just before you stick it in the oven.
Bake for 35 minutes, then leave the loaves to cool out of their tins on a cooling rack.