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Posts Tagged ‘sourdough sandwich bread’

Pete and I were in Melbourne for less than forty-eight hours, but during that time we ate some truly amazing food.

Of course, it helps to have a friend like Davey who sent us an email with recommended dining venues before we even touched down.  One of his suggestions was Cumulus Inc, a fantastic restaurant within easy walking distance of our hotel.

Every dish we ate there was noteworthy, but the true star of the show for me was their white house bread, a flavoursome chewy sourdough with a lightly salted crust.

I was inspired to attempt something similar at home.  Here’s the recipe I came up with – it’s a variation on Joanna’s white toast bread, adapted to sourdough and baked in a gerry-rigged pullman tin.  The quantities below make a single long loaf, although my photos show a double batch…

  • 200g active sourdough starter ( 166% hydration, ie. fed at a ratio of one cup water to one cup flour)
  • 350g bakers/bread flour
  • 175g semola rimacinata di grano duro (remilled semolina flour)
  • 175g Italian 00 flour
  • 375g water
  • 15g extra virgin olive oil
  • 12g fine sea salt
  • 10g brown sugar
  • Maldon sea salt, for the pan

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together to form a shaggy dough, then allow to rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

2. Give the dough a quick knead in the bowl, then cover again and allow to prove until roughly doubled in size. Prepare a long loaf tin by spraying with vegetable oil (I use canola) and sprinkling a generous pinch of crushed Maldon salt all over the sides and base.  My tin was 28cm x 11½cm (11″ x 4½”).  Preheat the oven to 220C (430F) with fan.

3. Scrape the proved dough onto a lightly oiled surface and shape it into a loaf.  Place the dough seamside down into the prepared tin – it should fill the tin to about halfway. Cover with cling film and allow to prove until the tin is approximately three-quarters full.  Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little more crushed Maldon salt.

4. Spray a long flat pan with oil and place it over the top of the loaf tin.  I used a biscotti pan.  As the lid didn’t lock into place like a real pullman tin would have, I weighted it down with a cast iron griddle.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 210C (410F) with fan and bake the bread, complete with lid and weight, for 40 minutes.  After the initial baking time, remove the pan from the oven.  Uncover it, tip the loaf out, and check for doneness by tapping on the base of the bread to see if it sounds hollow.  Return the loaf in its pan minus the lid for a further 10 minutes or more if necessary.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Note: If you’d like to try this recipe using a starter at 100% hydration (ie. fed with equal quantities by weight of flour and water), reduce the bakers flour to 325g and increase the water to 400g.

The finished loaf had a fine, tender crumb with a few small holes.  It held its shape well when sliced…

The entire crust was covered with a light dusting of sea salt…

This perfect sandwich bread is reminiscent of the bread we had at Cumulus Inc., but quite different in flavour and texture.  Nevertheless, it’s a happy reminder of the lovely meal we had there, and a great addition to our baking repertoire!

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