It took 5 days of feeding to get strong enough to make this beautiful loaf.
Just 5 days?!
Yes. 5 days in Singapore weather. More than enough to grow a starter strong enough to leaven bread.
Then to make this loaf, I turned on the room air-conditioner. For 8 hours.
This is turning out to be THE expensive bread.
But it is so worth it. I have officially fallen in love with sourdough bread. The glorious smell of fresh baked sourdough bread, that tangy taste and chewy texture. Yum.
After eating the bread, there is no bloating or burping. It lasted longer too. A simple lunch of ham sandwich and it was 7 hours after lunch that I felt hunger pangs again. No snacking! This bread is good news for dieters!
Sourdough Wholemeal Loaf (adapted from Wild Yeast)
- 572 grams bread flour
- 50 grams wholemeal flour
- 323 grams water
- 16.2 grams salt
- 31 grams honey
- 33 grams milk powder
- 65 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 411 grams mature 100% sourdough starter
- Add everything except butter and water into the bowl of your mixer fitted with a kneading hook.
- Mix for a minute, gradually add water until a dough forms. Reserve about 10% of the water and only add if dough seems slightly dry. I used all the water but since ingredients and environment may be different, you may not need to use all.
- Let the mixer run for a minute, then add in butter. Mix for 5 minutes or until medium level gluten development. For different types of gluten development, see here.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased, short rectangle container with a lid. The reason for the short container is so you can fold the dough later. Allow to ferment for 3 hours at optimum temperature of 77 F (25 C). Fold at 1 and 2 hours into fermentation. For folding, refer to here.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Weigh and divide into 2. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 25 minutes.
- Prepare 2 Pullman tins. Mine were approximately 18.5 x 10 x 10.5 cm and were non-stick so I did not grease them.
- Shape dough into cylinders and place into the prepared tins. Cover and ferment for 5 hours at 77 F (25 C), then another 10 hours overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 480 F (250 C). Remove tins from fridge and bake immediately, for about 45 minutes or until bread internal temperature reaches 200 F (93 C).
- Remove the loafs onto a cooling rack immediately. Let cool for at least 3 hours (preferably 5 hours) before slicing.
I did not remove the bread from the tin and bake on a baking stone since I did not want a browned crust for these loaves.
For sourdough starter, please refer to Ms. Susan’s excellent directions at Wild Yeast. I followed her instructions exactly and purposely chose December to start my sourdough culture, since it is the coolest month in Singapore. Even so, the sourdough starter was bubbling like mad by the 5th hour and sometimes the day gets so warm I get worried.
I grow my starter in a mason jar with the lid loosely capped, and this jar sits in a plate of water. Why? Because the tiny ants in my house absolutely love anything that ferments. Some time back, I was growing milk and water kefir. They got into everywhere, regardless if there was a lid or a cling film secured by a tight rubber band. Drove me nuts.
So the foolproof age-old method of a plate of water worked and since then, anything that requires time to ferment in my house must be defended by a ‘moat’ from these tiny warriors.
When it gets too warm, I’ll place ice-cubes into the plate of water that the sourdough starter is sitting in. Hey, it works. Maybe I’ll try fermenting dough in an icebox next. 😛