Posts Tagged ‘daily bread’

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I am seriously chuffed with today’s bread.  See the coveted “blistered crust” in the photo above?  It takes a lot of skill and technique to achieve that…or in my case, blind luck.  I’ve never been able to identify what I do that causes the crust to occasionally bubble and blister, but when it does, I feel very pleased with myself nonetheless.

I had to bake four loaves of sourdough this morning, because those sons of mine eat like wolves.  They devour a 650g loaf of sourdough bread every day, plus the occasional loaf with dinner, which means that I need to bake a large batch twice a week. Fortunately, my sourdough starter is now so well trained that it’s a pretty easy process.  It involves very little handling on my part, but lots of time.

Here’s my twice weekly Winter schedule (it changes in Summer because the dough proves much faster):

Day 1, 9am: Take the starter out of the fridge, feed it some flour and water.

Day 1, 2pm: Feed the starter another serve of flour and water.

Day 1, 7pm: Mix up the dough, let it rest briefly. Give it a short knead, then pop it into a large, oiled plastic box to prove.  Actual amount of time spent handling the dough at this stage is about 10 minutes all up.  Go to bed.

Day 2, first thing in the morning: Turn the risen dough onto an oiled bench, divide it up, and shape it into loaves.  Pop them into plastic wicker baskets to prove, covered.  Turn the oven on.

Day 2, an hour later: Turn the loaves onto a peel, slash the tops, then shovel them into the oven.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

That’s it.  Once cold, I slice the loaves up and store them in the freezer, taking one or two (loaves) out each morning, as needed. It’s now so ingrained in our weekly rhythm that I can’t remember the last time we purchased a loaf of bread.

One of the best things about baking your own is that it frees you from the  daily supermarket trek – we only have to go once a month, if that.  Plus it saves us a fortune – a good loaf of sourdough can cost between $5 and $8, whereas our loaves work out at about 65c each.  And that’s using premium extra virgin olive oil and top quality bakers flour. When you multiply that by at least eight loaves a week, it’s a pretty substantial saving!


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