Staying Sane During Lockdown
Our team have been sharing their top tips for how to stay sane during lockdown.
Top tip no. 1 is from our talented head chef, Anuj, who recommends indulging in a little comfort baking.
Here’s his recipe for the perfect sourdough – for the starter and the loaf itself. Enjoy!
● Organic rye flour or plain flour 100gms
● Room temperature water 100ml
Day 1: Combine the flour and water, then leave overnight in a warm place.
Day 2: Add the same amount of flour and water as the previous day, again mixing well and then leaving in a warm place.
Day 3: You should be able to see some bubbles forming, which means that bacteria is developing and working. If you see this, add another batch of flour and water and leave it for another day.
(If for some reason the bubbles don’t happen after the third day and the batter looks flat, leave it as it is for another day or two in a warm place until it starts to bubble or smell. Believe me, depending upon the type of flour or the temperature of the room, it does vary sometimes.)
Day 4: Throw away half of the batter and add 200gms flour and 200ml water and leave the batter for the next two days as it is.
Day 7: Hopefully by the seventh day, there should be a lot of bacterial activity in the batter. If not, keep repeating the above steps until you achieve a bubbly, fermented batter.
In my case it took me two weeks, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen straight away.
Seeded Sourdough Bread Recipe
• Starter 200gms (see above)
● Plain, strong plain, wholemeal or rye flour 500g
● 250ml room temperature water
● 10gms salt
● Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
● Tablespoon sunflower seeds
Kneed the mix of flour, salt, starter and water until it becomes smooth and bouncy. In my opinion, you have to kneed by hand for at least 15-20 minutes. Then you can test the dough by stretching a thin layer between two fingers. If you can stretch the dough without breaking it, it’s ready, otherwise kneed it for another 5 minutes.
Tuck the dough into a nice, firm round shape and place it in a bowl lightly greased with oil. Cover it with a damp cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place for three hours.
After three hours, the dough should have almost doubled in size.
Tip it back out onto the floured surface and kneed again with the seeds for 5 minutes.
Fold the dough tightly using the pressure of the table and the palms of your hands; then mould into the desired shape.
Now place the dough onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and lightly sprinkle flour on top. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for a further three hours.
After three hours, remove the cloth and make some sharp knife scores on the top of the dough. Then bake in a preheated oven at 220℃ for 25-30 minutes.