Yeah, that is right, my sourdough loaf looks like ET. Well, either ET or a skull, but I hate skulls and skeletons so I am going for ET.
I followed this recipe, so step 1 took several days- putting flour and warm water into a jar and stirring, then each day adding more water and flour to “feed” it. No yeast, but it did bubble.
Here you can see the bubbles that appeared, before I covered it in more flour and water.
Then I had to make the dough- 300ml of the starter mix (which was very gloopy so I had to ladle it out), 500g flour (I did half wholemeal and half white), 200ml warm water and a pinch of salt.
It looked a bit messy in the bowl, and it took a lot of kneading, but it did come together to make quite a sticky dough. From things I had read on the internet, the dough would be wetter than a normal bread dough- something I read said to keep it as wet as you could bare.
Then it went back in the same bowl (I don’t like extra washing up, sorry!) which I coated with a little rapeseed oil.
I actually took some photos to see if it had risen or not, because I was having trouble working it out! Anyway, after a good few hours I kneaded it gently and shaped it into the dough shape. I made a makeshift proving basket by lining a pasta bowl with a teatowel, and left it overnight.
Again, I was not sure if it had risen in the morning.
But a look on the camera confirmed it! Or rather, it had spread!
Then I heated up the baking tray in the oven (at 240C- super hot!) and baked it for 35 mins.
It rose so much in the oven, I was shocked- I honestly think it doubled in height! I did slash the top with a serrated knife, but not deep enough it turns out because it sort of burst out the bottom.
I could not resist slicing it while it was still warm.
And enjoyed an end piece with some hummus for lunch. It has turned out really well for a first go- nice and chewy and it does have a faint sourdough taste. I think as the starter mix gets more mature the flavour will develop too.
And seriously, what do you think it looks like? I am still saying ET!
Have a lovely weekend- stay warm wherever you are 🙂