Mini Sourdoughs

Recently I was looking through our local homewares shop and found tiny ceramic bread baking pans. That got me thinking back to my attempts at sourdough bread and I thought it would be cool to cook some mini loaves.

Transient

To start, go through the process of creating a sourdough starter. Once it's nice and frothy and doubling in size overnight then you're ready to go.

In addition to the mini bread pans, you'll need:

  • 500g unbleached organic flour
  • 240g tepid water
  • 1 tsp of salt

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add 200g of the starter to the water in a separate bowl and stir. Slowly combine the starter to the dough by stirring and then combining with your hands. If it's quite sticky you might need to add a little flour at a time until it's just soft and doesn't stick easily to your hands.

Place the dough on a floured counter and knead firmly for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Let it rise for 4 - 8 hours (rising time will depend on a number of factors in your kitchen) until it's doubled in size.

Remove from the bowl and knock the air out of the dough. Shape into a ball and divide into 140g balls. Oil the bread pans and add dough to each one and cover with cling film. Let stand for another 2 - 6 hours, until they double in size again. Preheat the oven to 220C.

Once the dough has risen again, cut a slash down the middle of each one, add a little flour to the tops, place in the oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes. Remove and let cool somewhat. Cut and serve - maybe with some Tetsuya's Truffle Butter!

Basic Sourdough Starter

Recently I made some mini sourdough loaves so before I publish that recipe I thought it best to give a rundown of how to make a basic sourdough starter. There seems to be hundreds of ways to create one on the web but I've found this one the easiest and most straightforward.

You need:

  • 1kg unbleached organic flour
  • 1ltr sparkling mineral water (soda water will do as well)
  • 1 canning jar

Sterilise the jar by dropping it fully into some boiling water for a minute. Then add 50g of the flour and 50g of the water and stir. Leave that overnight. Do the same thing for three days in a row.

On the fourth day, remove most of the starter and add 100g of the flour and 100g of the water. Things should start frothing overnight. Repeat this for four days.

On the seventh day your starter should be doubling in size overnight. Once this happens you're ready to go! And remember that the dough should have a distinct sour smell but it should be pleasant. If you have any concerns that it smells off or rotten, throw it out and start again. Trust me, this isn't very hard.