Making a wheat Production Sourdough [PS] or ‘Production Leaven’
80 g Sourdough Starter (this is the stuff that i’ve been feeding for months)
200 g Wholemeal wheat flour
100 g Water (at about 35°C)
380 g Total
Mix everything together into a soft dough. Cover and leave in a warm place for 4 hours or until it has roughly doubled in volume, in my kitchen this takes much longer, sometimes a day (as its cold). Then use this Production Sourdough to make your final dough.
Wheat Bread Dough
300 g Refreshed Production Sourdough (from above)
400 g Wheat flour (wholemeal, white or a mixture)
8 g Sea Salt 300 g Water (at about 30°C)
1008 g Total
Make a dough with all the ingredients except the refreshed PS. Knead until the gluten is showing good signs of development. Then add the refreshed PS and continue kneading for a few more minutes. At the end of kneading the dough should be soft and stretchy and coming away from your hands, but it should not be so firm that it doesn’t stick to the worktop if left for a few seconds.
Dust a proving basket with wholemeal wheat flour. Form your dough piece into a rough round and, keeping the tucks uppermost, dip the dough in a bowl (or puddle) of the same flour so that at least the bottom half of the dough is covered in flour. Place it in your floured basket and flick a little more flour on any surfaces that might get stuck to the basket. Cover loosely with a polythene bag and leave to prove in a draught-free place for 3-4 hours. I used a ceramic Mason and Cash loaf pot on this occassion. When you tip the proved dough out of its basket on to a baking tray or peel (a baker’s flat shovel for sliding loaves into the oven), mark it with whatever cuts take your fancy.
Bake in a fairly hot oven to develop a really good crust. Alternatively, mould the dough piece up tightly and put it in a baking tin (or two small ones), aiming to fill the tin(s) about half full. Cover and prove until the dough is nearing the top of the tin or is beginning to feel a little fragile when gently pressed with a flat finger.
Bake in an oven that is pre-heated to 230°C (or as hot as the controls indicate) for ten minutes, then lower the temperature to 210°C and continue to bake for about 30 minutes. The loaf should have a firm deep crust which cannot easily be depressed. This will gradually soften as the loaf cools and the moisture in the internal crumb migrates to the surface.