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Sourdough Breads

  • How get a Sourdough starter

    How do I get a starter? This is a question I get asked often, and there are many different ways to get a starter going. You could make your own.  It can take from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the flour you use and the temperature. It’s uniquely satisfying and fun, but many people loose patience and give up, or do not recognise when it is ready.   A reputable and supported sourdough starter such as the one sold by Bakerybits is a fast way to get going because it has a...

  • Vanessa Kimbell's Friday Night Sourdough

     This is my standard overnight loaf that I teach beginners. It has the same 68% hydration we use in the village bakery, but has the long slow prove that is classically from San Francisco.  Feel free to add another 20g of water to get a bigger crumb if you are confident in handling a wetter dough. As any Frenchman will tell you, nothing gets you off to a better start at the weekend that a  large sourdough loaf fresh from the oven.  There is no mystery to this -  it’s all about the timing. This method allows you...

  • Sourdough Mill Loaf by Dan Lepard

    Photograph © Dan Lepard Dan Lepard, is undoubtedly one of the most influential bakers in the UK.  His gentle, informative style gives even the most nervous of bakers confidence. Most people know Dan from eight years of writing a weekly column for The Guardian, but it's not just the newspaper that made Dan's work lead the way for home bakers baking artisan bread.  You can pinpoint the resurgence in hand made bread to the moment that Dan’s book The Handmade Loaf was published ten years ago.  It was Dan's influence that brought me back to baking bread when my...

  • The Perfect Baguette - From the Larousse Book of Bread by Éric Kayser

    We are all really excited here at Bakerybits - there is a Larousse Book of bread freshly translated just out. The book is a step-by-step guide to French bread and as I turned each page it was everything I had ever been taught as an apprentice in a French bakery many years ago. It is written by Éric Kayser, who is is one of France’s most famous and respected bakers. Master baker and entrepreneur Éric Kayser grew up in Alsace, and is the fifth generation of a baking family. Éric is passionate about creating artisan bread and the book shows you how easy it is...

  • Olive, Feta & Rosemary Sourdough Focaccia

    I love rosemary. Related to lavender, its aromatic leaves work beautifully in any bread recipe, but this combination is magical. I’ve blended the flours to produce delicious, chewy bread and given the dough a long fermentation to really boost the flavour. The result is a robust sourdough that can really carry the depth of the olives and rosemary.  You will also notice that I have reduced the salt to just 5g and this is simply because there is plenty of salt in the olives, feta and the salt sprinkled on top. If want to you could reduce the salt further...

  • Russian Easter Kulich

    Kulich is an Easter bread and became part of the Russian Easter tradition through the Orthodox Church. This Russian Kulich uses left over sourdough starter to add flavour, but the lactic acid also acts as a preservative so it extends the shelf life of your bread by a few days.  It  is very similar to an Italian panettone in many ways, but the word Kulich actually originates from the Greek Kollix, which means a roll or loaf of bread.  It is an Easter bread and seems to have become part of the Russian Easter tradition through the Orthodox Church...

  • Minestrone Sourdough

    Making Bread Together by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou is my favourite book of 2014.  I wrote about this great bread making book just before Christmas and I am delighted to be able to share this recipe for a wonderful filling bread is from infused with an array of flavours.  It has got potato, celeriac, carrot, leek, red onion, garlic and oregano – all the components of a hearty minestrone soup. It’s fantastic for a winter’s day and feels like a meal in itself! Because this recipe involves a sourdough starter, it will take some time to make, but it’ll be worth it!  Ingredients: ...

  • Rolled Oat Sourdough Boule

    The cold weather is drawing me instinctively towards comfort food and a love for my porridge. Oats are very versatile and adding them to sourdough changes the texture and flavour of your loaf.  The crumb is softer, and slightly moister, and the oats add a gentle flavour. Nutritionally whole oats are an excellent source of fibre, protein and vitamin E and have a specific kind of fibre referred to as beta-glucan, which is effective in lowering cholesterol. How to stretch and fold sourdough from Vanessa Kimbell on Vimeo. I teach this bread in the winter and...

  • Rosemary, garlic and Parmesan Flatbreads

    Serving suggestion - slice in half, fill with garden salad and lamb sausages These flatbreads are so versatile.  They are wonderful torn up and loaded with humous or taramasalata alongside a glass of chilled white wine, but equally they are perfect for sandwiches the following day. We serve them lightly toasted with barbecued lamb sausages and garden salad for supper. If you are making theses on a hot summer's day you can prove them for 3 hours on the kitchen work surface, and they will be ready to bake much sooner than if left overnight. You can bake...

  • Vanessa's Sourdough Scones

    Unrefreshed leaven is the secret to adding both extra flavour and giving your scones a lighter texture.  These are light, golden, have a wonderful crunch on the outside. Unrefreshed sourdough is slightly acidic, which means that it reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in the baking powder.  The sodium bicarbonate is a alkaline and the extra acidity from the starter means that is more effective at giving off more carbon dioxide, which means lighter scones.  The addition of the sourdough also has the added benefit of your giving your scones better keeping quality. TIP the less you handle your scones...

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