About Us

Well Bread! is a small supplier of Artisan Breads and baked goods, local to Brixham in glorious South Devon.
We specialise in Organic Sourdoughs, made with Spelt and Rye, as well as Sweet and Savoury Rolls, Ciabatta and Focaccia.
We also make savoury snacks in a variety of flavours.
Yvonne and Richard hope you enjoy our products, available at selected locations in Torbay.
If you do, tell your friends so that we can grow. If you don't, please tell us, so that we can improve. Call on 07791 058070 or email at wellbread.brixham@gmail.com

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Sourdough (Again) and Croutons.

I know I keep on about it, but I love Sourdough, in all its frustrating glory. From the early days, when I just couldn't master it, to my present uneasy truce with the stuff it is a mighty fine loaf, when you get it right. And for the rest, well there's always croutons!

Actually that's not quite true, after a week or so the quality does start to deteriorate, and toast or croutons are a good way to avoid it going to waste. Especially at this time of year, croutons are a perfect accompaniment to soup.

I know I have said this before, but I cannot understand how I can make bread that will be perfectly edible after a week, where supermarket bread (with all its additives) will be off after a couple of days.

So I had a little left from last weeks loaf, and cut it into cubes,

These I soaked with Balsamic Vinegar, then tossed in Olive Oil. They went into a hot oven until crisp and dark on the outside (about 25 minutes) turning and shaking a couple if times.
About 5 minutes before you think they are done, lift one out and let it cool, if it crisps up they are ready.

Meanwhile I started this weeks loaf. I was talking to a lovely lady at Crux Crafts last week, and we discussed how to make good sourdough, so this is partly for her, and for anyone else who is interested.

I had refreshed my starters yesterday, so had a lot of active ferment ready. This is crucial, you need a good bubbly ferment before starting, if you normally keep them in the fridge, leave them out for a few hours to warm and get active before you refresh them. Then give them a while to bubble before you make dough.

I used 400g of each (Rye and Spelt), meaning at 100% hydration I had 400g of flour and the same of water.

Now for the science bit, at 80% hydration for the loaf, I need 80g of water for every 100g of flour. My casserole makes a 1.5kg loaf with ease, so I will use a total of 750g flour. This at 80% means a total of 600g water.

As I already have 400g of each, I need 350g flour and 200g water.

Salt at 2% comes in at 15g.

If your with me so far, put all these in a bowl, and mix till all the water is absorbed. You may think its very wet but don't worry, there is no kneading and the water will go when its cooked.

 You can see the difference between starters, both at 100%, the spelt is very moist, and the rye sits on top.

When its all mixed  cover and leave for at least 12 hours.

Note the level of the mixture.

See how its risen.

Next morning, turn it out onto your mixing surface and stretch and fold it a few times, try not to use too much extra flour.

Put your oven on, with the casserole inside, to maximum, and rest the dough in a well floured banneton, don't worry about the shape, it will sort itself out in the oven.

After about 30 minutes, you will see that the dough has risen slightly, now carefully put it in the casserole and put the lid back on, return it to the oven for 40 minutes.

It should look like this, leave the lid off and return it for 20 minutes.

Take it out and tap it, if it sounds hollow its done. I like to test the internal temperature with a probe, if its over 95 degrees C it means the gluten has set and its done.

Leave it to cool, then adopt a smug grin, because you now have tasty bread for a week.

Just how we like it.

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