Sourdough is an ancient way of making bread. The bread dough was left out side where the natural yeast cells in the environment would land on the dough. These yeast cells would then grown, multiply and ferment the dough making it rise.
250g Strong White Flour
5-7 Grapes (seedless)
250ml Tepid Water
1. Cut the grapes into small pieces and place into a large mixing bowl.
2 Add the flour and water in the bowl. Mix all the ingredients until fully combined this may take 2-3 minutes of mixing.
3. Pour the mixture into a large jar (around 1-2 litres in capacity). Put a lit on the jar and make sure it is airtight. Draw a line on the jar with a marker where the starter is.
4. Leave the start in a warm area (around room temperature, 21C) for 3 days. During this time the yeast cells will ferment the sugars (in the grapes) and the flour. This will produce carbon dioxide in the starter, making it rise.
5. Once the starter has rise about a 1/3 above the marker line, remove half of the starter. Add 100g of strong white flour and 100ml of tepid water. This will help to keep the sourdough starter alive. This will need to be done every few days so that the yeast cells do not die.
6. Leave the starter for another 24 hours to ferment and rise. At this stage the dough should have become thicker and gelatinous. Once at this stage the sourdough starter is ready to be used.
250g Sourdough Starter
375g Strong White Flour
150ml Tepid Water
1. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt and starter. Mix the ingredients using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.
2. Slowly pour in the water until a dough forms. You may not need to add all of the water. Remember you can always add water but you can not take away the extra water.
3. Mix the dough for 5-8 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and soft. Pour a bit of oil on to a work surface and knead the dough 10-15 times and the shape the dough into a ball.
4. Put the dough into a large oiled bowl and leave to prove at room temperature for 5 hour or until doubled in size.
5. Once the dough has proved, dust a work surface with flour. Tip the dough on to the work surface and knock the dough back to remove large air bubbles in the dough.
6. Fold then dough in over its self to form a loaf shape and dust with flour. Place the dough on a tray line with baking parchment, leave to prove for 4 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
7. Pre heat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 8. Place a roasting tray in the oven to heat up. Before placing the dough in the oven, pour a litre of water in the roasting tray and then place the dough in the oven. The water will create steam, which will help to make a crispy crust.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, bake until the bread becomes golden brown. To test if the bread is baked tap the bottom of the bread, if there is a hollow sound, the bread is cooked.