I have been making my own bread for years. I started doing this as I find processed shop bought bread doesn’t really agree with me. It gives me indegestion and leaves me feeling that slice of toast really wasn’t worth it. Like many people I wondered if this had anything to do with the gluten in it but decided that I would try experimenting with my own loaf to before cutting out the wheat.
I realise this in itself is a controversial thing and many people claim to feel better for going “gluten-free” but actually gluten does an awful lot for the food that we enjoy. It gives bread its elasticity, that super springy, yumminess that makes bread… well… bread! My own opinion is that the way bread especially is processed is what doesn’t agree with us. The fast acting yeast, the bleached flour, preservatives, the list goes on. So if you fancy a change and a step back from the rush of daily life try this.
Sour dough starter is simply made from flour and water. Add a cup of flour to a cup of water and mix well. Leave in a jar to ferment, feed regularly. That’s it! Ok so to start it off takes about a week. Every couple of days you tip half away and top it up with flour and water (feed it). But after that it’s ready to go. It takes patience, yes, there is no quick fix with this.. oh but hang on I do have a quick fix use for this too, crumpets! Steady on! Let’s start with bread.
My family are from Ukraine, so I grew up on rich sough dough bread. This was something my gran would travel to get my for grandad – this was never available in our local shop. Even then though we all knew it was worth it.The flavour of this bread is slightly tangy but very moreish. It will take you a day to make but really is worth the wait.
500g strong flour
Mix the ingredients together and knead for approximately 10 minutes. I find this easier with a machine to start with as it is very sticky. Form into a round and place in an oiled bowl, then cover with a piece of cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for 3-4 hours. It will increase but not as much as with yeast, I’d say about about 1 1/2 times original size.
Knock it back and place in a well floured loaf tin. Cover and leave to rise again for another 2 hours. I told you it takes time!
Remove cover and slit across the top – it’s time to leave your signature!
Throw a few ice cubes into a preheated oven (Gas mark 6 / 180C) and bake your loaf for 40 minutes – or until when you tap on the base it sounds hollow.