A new and exciting book was delivered to my residence very recently. Here is it. It’s hot off the press, so quick, grab your copy. You can get it …Fiesta Friday #348
“I am a professional Chef/Instructor and have been baking sourdough bread for years.
Today I put all my “old habits” aside and followed, word for word, Elaine’s Master Recipe from her new book, “Whole Grain Sourdough at Home”.
In one weekend I created three of the loveliest loaves of sourdough I have ever baked in my life. Not only were they beautiful on the outside – golden brown and sky high with beautiful little “ears”, blisters, and banneton swirls, but they tasted out of this world. Crunchy, flakey crusts with chewy and airy pockets of soft bread inside.
Thank you, Elaine!”
Chef Karin J. Davis
Visit my shop for details…
The amazing The Garlic Tun has created a new shaped lame for us happy sourdough bakers….
This one above is mine, and below, I now have a stock of them available in my online shop, or you can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each one a handmade individual beauty…
This recipe uses the dough created using my master recipe process and then using it to create the pizza of your choice; the dough can be made up of the flour/s of your choice to create different flavours & textures…
The outcome being a lovely textured, holey, tasty pizza base!
The key is how to manage and store the overnight dough ready for when you want your pizzas. I have got 2 methods below, each designed to make it simple to fit the dough in with your timings, and not the other way round!
The morning after the overnight prove, you will hopefully have a lovely big bowl of bubbly dough; if it is escaping the bowl, gently do a single set of pulls and folds, just go once round the bowl, to pull it loosely together, re-cover it, and place it in the fridge. If the dough hasn’t reached the top of the bowl already, just place it in the fridge to bring the activity to a halt until you want to use it.
When you know when you want your pizzas to be ready for, remove the dough from the fridge an hour or so beforehand and let it warm up a bit.
Cover your work surface with water, flour or olive oil, I use water.
Turn the dough out from the bowl onto your surface and cut into portions, 2, 4 or 6, depending how big you would like your pizzas to be.
Let it sit for 10 minutes.
**I use a foil lined baking tray to cook my pizzas, liberally drizzled with olive oil (I like the crust it generates when baked). However, you may prefer using semolina, polenta/corn meal, flour, whatever your choice under the dough, directly onto your baking tray or baking implement of your choice. If you’re using a pizza stone, prepare the dough on a board or tray ready to be able to move it across to your stone as you usually do.
After 10 minutes place the dough on your chosen bakeware, and start to gently use your finger tips to push the dough out into a thinner rounder shape, or shape of your choice. You will need to let it sit for a few minutes and then do it again as the dough will bounce back.
Preheat the oven to 220C fan/240 non fan/460F.
Give your dough one final push out, spread with sauce of your choice and toppings of your choice, and bake for 12-15 minutes until the base is cooked and the cheese is bubbling.
In the morning you will hopefully have a lovely big bowl of dough. Cover your work surface in flour, water or oil, and turn the dough out onto the surface. I use water at this point.
Prepare your baking tray, I drizzle olive oil over my foil lined tray as stated above.
Portion the dough into 2, 4 or 6 pieces.
Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Place the pieces onto your prepared baking tray and use your fingers tips to push it gently out into a round; it will want to bounce back so let it set for a while and do it again.
Once you’ve got it pushed out to the thinness and size that you want, cover the whole tray with a large plastic bag, or place cling film over the dough, and put the whole tray in the fridge.
It can now sit in there until you want to use it, I’ve let mine sit in the fridge all day in the past.
**The top 2 photos in the collage below show the dough before and after being in the fridge. As you can see, the dough continued to work in the cold – my SuperStar in action!
You can now use this dough directly from the fridge, you don’t need to let it warm up or come to room temperature, you can just add your toppings and bake.
If you’re more comfortable letting it come to room temperature before baking you can do that too.
Preheat the oven to 220C fan/240 non fan/460F, and bake for 12-15 minutes until the base is cooked and the cheese is bubbling.
Beautiful blistered base, and it tastes SOOOO good!
And a view of the cooked base…
I love the crust that the olive oil creates, added to the soft interior.
I hope you like my method and find it useful, and user & life friendly. For more pizza recipes and more, check out my book, The Sourdough Whisperer.
‘Mrs Middleton’ is actually a lovely lady called Whizz, and Whizz’s farm is very very close to where I live. For several years Whizz has sold a lovely light rapeseed oil, and now other related products, made from her own crops, and recently she also started to sell flour from wheat grown on her land and milled at a local historical mill. This flour therefore is grown and milled very close to where I live and therefore sits it firmly in my heart.
Whizz produces just two flours as shown above, both stoneground, small batch productions, and I love them both, especially the plain natural white stoneground flour; but do not be fooled, this is not what you would think of as ‘plain flour’, this is not a standard soft white, all purpose flour. This is a flour is kings!
Mrs Middleton’s plain flour has 13% protein and is therefore perfect for making sourdough. As a result of being stoneground and holding onto to some of the bran in the wheat during milling, the flour has a slight pink tint which bakes to a brown loaf, looking like a wholemeal/wholewheat loaf once baked, and it’s not just the colour that behaves like a wholemeal/whole wheat, this flour takes up a lot of water, which you have to take into account. I can tell you it bakes to a gloriously flavoured and textured loaf.
If used solely, baked loaves will be quite dense and heavy unless you add extra water, which is what I did for the first 2 photos of this post; or, I lift it with some white spelt flour and it works perfectly, as these last 2 photos show, this is definitely my most favourite flour mix to date, the dough is generated is so smooth, it’s beautiful to handle, and when turned out it’s always wonderfully firm and a joy to score…
**At the end of this post I have added my suggestions for quantities and mixes for using this flour in my standard foodbod sourdough master recipe.**
I’ve also use this flour for making sourdough buttermilk biscuits/scones…
I can happily recommend trying Whizz’s beautiful flour, and I even had the honour of meeting her and teaching her how to make sourdough, which was lovely. Trying new flours is so much fun, and this one has definitely been a successful experiment for me.
You can find Whizz’s lovely flour and oil here.
Recipe suggestions based on my master recipe:
Option 1. (And my favourite!)
250g Mrs Middleton’s plain stoneground flour
250g white spelt flour
Salt to taste
500g Mrs Middleton’s plain stoneground flour
Salt to taste
150g Mrs Middleton’s plain stoneground flour
350g strong white bread flour
Salt to taste.
Note: if you feel your dough needs extra water, if it is breaking as you handle it, add a tablespoon at a time more and see how it feels.
If you have my book, using either flour in the same way as wholewheat where it’s used in various recipes.
Use Mrs Middleton’s wholemeal flour in exactly the same way as the plain.
These rolls were made using my master recipe, link to the left, using Shipton Mill finest bakery no.1 white bread flour, but I also think that their Canadian bread flour would work well as it creates a slightly firmer dough in my experience. I also think they’d be lovely with various mixes of flour..
This week my lovely baking friend Steve and I made sourdough rolls together; I followed my master recipe exactly as it is, then after the overnight prove I pulled the dough together gently, placed it onto a floured surface then we cut it into 16 equal portions..as modelled by my lovely helper…
These pieces were rolled gently into rounds with the sides of our hands – very gently, the dough was very light and airy, and we wanted to preserve the bubbles – and placed onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
We then left them to sit for 10-15 minutes whilst preheating the oven to 200C fan (220C convection)
As they sat they did spread a little, and grow a little, which is good as it shows that the starter is still active.
They were too soft to score so I snipped crossed in the tops with scissors..
We baked them for about 18 minutes, turning the tray around half way through so ensure an even colour across the top.
As they baked we watched them grow beautifully, up into lovely balls.
They came out lovely and crusty on the outside and soft and holey in the middle.
We forced ourselves to let them cool once baked whilst we made some spiced root vegetable soup (I topped my soup with my homemade homous, whilst Steve lashed piles of my homemade harissa on his) to enjoy them with…and it was worth the wait, they were so good!
We cut the dough into 16 pieces and made smaller rolls; if you want to make bigger versions, you may need to bake them for a bit longer.
An update: I made rolls again (below) and these were much bigger, I split the dough into 8 this time and I baked them for about 20 mins until slightly browned on the top…
Another update: I baked these rolls from cold; I put the tray in the fridge for 1-2 hours after shaping them, then baked them from a cold start…
Once I put the tray into the oven, I turned the oven on and up to 200C fan assisted, and left them for 25 mins total. Perfectly baked!
New lames now in stock in my shop…I want them all!!!
First come, first served!
Happy scoring 🙂
My personal introduction to baking Sourdough bread – Knowledgeable, Enthusiastic and Great Fun.
I’ve been a lover of sourdough bread for a while now but the demise of local bakers restricted me to supermarkets. I’ve tried them all with Waitrose being by far the best. But is it real sourdough? I cook a lot at home and bake bread from tv recipes. But none of them really seem to deliver real sourdough bread. So what’s the answer? A sourdough baking course, of course. Hmmmmm.
Encouraged by my wife who had spotted Elaine on social media, I decided to take the plunge so I booked and went along to Elaine’s course feeling, strange for a retired man, very nervous. Possibly remembering many of the interminably boring management courses I have been forced to attend over the years.
The course was a good half day’s introduction to baking sourdough bread. The great thing is that it was hands on or should that be hands in! Elaine turned out to be a great enthusiastic and patient teacher, putting me at my ease and explaining at a level of detail that was just right for me. The constant supply of tea and sourdough goodies all adds to the experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the teaching, the baking and the chat. Informality was the key to the day and I went home with some superb self cooked sourdough bread and cheese scones plus course notes to help at home. Boring it was not.
Elaine clearly explains the methods and the equipment you will need to be a successful home baker. Watching and learning and doing it yourself and learning is key. Since the course, I’ve made my own starter and two loaves and things are looking good. I’ve encountered one or two problems or should that be memory lapses since the course but Elaine has been superb with her help, guidance and sympathy.
If you love sourdough and want to cook your own, I couldn’t recommend Elaine’s course more highly. Get motivated and try something refreshingly different.