There’s nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked sourdough bread to create an inviting atmosphere and make a house feel like a home. A satisfying and nurturing process, sourdough baking at home requires plenty of love and patience, but the effort is well worth it, yielding delicious, mouth-watering results. Daragh Grier of Wild Bakery even shares his tips and recipe to help you recreate this beautiful bread from scratch.
Sourdough Equipment, Ingredients, and Tips
With almost 20 years experience in the food industry, Daragh Grier of Wild Bakery knows everything there is to know about baking. Daragh’s number one tip for baking? Patience. Creating a great loaf requires time and care, along with quality ingredients and the right equipment. And when it comes to equipment, Daragh asserts that a good pot is critical. We suggest using the Lodge Dutch oven. In addition to a top-notch Dutch Oven, home bakers should invest in a very sharp serrated knife, a large bowl, and a natural fibre cloth or tea towel.
In terms of ingredients, great flour is a must. In Daragh’s words “you can’t make great bread from bad flour”. So how do you know if your flour is optimal? Daragh suggests testing it by combining equal parts flour and water. If it bubbles, it’s good—that’s the fermenting process taking place. Though chain supermarkets stock a large range of flour there’s no telling whether it’s fresh; you’re more likely to find a better quality product at popular independent supermarkets with a high stock turnover such as Kakulas Brothers, Kakulas Sister, and Loose Produce in Como.
Sourdough Loaf Recipe
Daragh generously shared his sourdough recipe which makes two beautiful loaves. Here’s what you’ll need.
- 640ml of water (preferably filtered)
- 1kg of high-quality flour
- 20g of salt (finely ground)
- 250g of levan (active yeast that can be purchased from Wild Bakery)
- Stir together flour, 620ml water, and levan and leave to sit for 20 minutes.
- Add salt and 20ml water and throw the dough repeatedly from the air onto the bench for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Leave the dough to rest and sit for 2 hours, covered with a tea towel or plastic wrap, in a warm spot (25C is ideal).
- Once the dough has rested, split the mixture in half and mould it into two round loaf shapes.
- Move your hands over the surface of the dough in an oscillating motion until the dough feels firm. Place the dough upside down into a bowl or circular basket lined with a natural fibre cloth or tea towel and leave for another 2 to 3 hours (use the indent test).
- Once the dough has almost finished resting, preheat your oven to 220C fan forced and warm up your Lodge Dutch oven. When the dough has finished resting, tip in into your warmed Lodge Dutch Oven.
- Use a sharp knife to place a few cuts on the surface of the dough (which will allow it to expand during the cooking process), put the lid on, and place it in the oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes then remove it from the Dutch oven and continue to cook on the rack for a final 10 minutes.