After discovering the delights of home baking sourdough well over a year ago there is one recipe I love to bake as it always provides consistent results and seems to be happy with whatever flour mix I have in the cupboard. The recipe is based around the sourdough section in The River Cottage Bread Handbook by Daniel Stevens plus some tips from Dan Lepard. Hmmm a lot of bakers seem to be called Dan.
The night before baking I mix 250grms flour, usually at least 200g strong or very strong white, the rest a mix/combo of wholemeal, spelt or rye depending on what's festering in the cupboard, along with 320-350ml of warm water and a couple of good heaped tablespoons of rye starter, mix well and leave to brew overnight.
The next morning I am greeted by a nice lively looking, bubbly bowl which always gives me confidence as it confirms all is active and lives! I then add the remaining 300grms of flour which once more is usually a mix of whatever, but with at least -200-250grms or so of the white stuff. I always add a lug of olive oil and just a few twists of the salt mill (high BP!) then mix and knead for 5-10mins, leave in a oiled bowl for an hour or so then depress and lightly knead/stretch a further 3-4 times hourlyish (if I remember) then shape, dust with rye flour & prove in a linen lined basket for 2-3 hours in warm spot (nr the boiler!)
When ready to bake, I whack the oven on full, turn the beastie onto some baking parchment (non-stick - I learnt from using the wrong stuff!!) score/slash and lift into in my large Le Cruset cast iron casserole, which is then put into the cool oven and baked for 45mins plus a further 5mins or so with the lid off to finish browning, the results are always fine.
It's great to try the recipes on The Fresh Loaf, last week I did the Dan Lepard Walnut bread - a brilliant recipe and one I am certain to do again, but it's always nice to do the one you know best and can do without even looking at the recipe. Oh and here are some pics of my last bake..........