The primitive art of bread-making

Sourdough bread is a living creation that takes three days to make. It is the primitive way to make bread. Sophie Rishworth went along to Vera Wilson’s My First Multigrain Sourdough Bread workshop with a dozen other people and learned about the art, the pleasure and the process of creating this delicious loaf of goodness.

Sourdough bread is a living creation that takes three days to make. It is the primitive way to make bread. Sophie Rishworth went along to Vera Wilson’s My First Multigrain Sourdough Bread workshop with a dozen other people and learned about the art, the pleasure and the process of creating this delicious loaf of goodness.

Sourdough
Sourdough

SOURDOUGH is so big in Europe that there are people who will “bread-sit” your sourdough starter if you go on holiday.

Then there is the story of a lady who had an appointment that clashed with her kneading schedule, so she took the dough with her.

In Gisborne, Vera Wilson, the sourdough bread workshop co-ordinator and fermented food extraordinaire, gathered a group in the SuperGrans kitchen on Childers Road and took them through the process of making this bread, which does not rise because of any added yeast but because of this a very special thing called “the sourdough starter”.

The starter is such a coveted slice of this recipe it is also referred to as “the sourdough mother”.

This is a great beginners’ recipe. All you need is a bowl, plastic scraper and a fork. You don‘t need fancy stuff.

Multigrain Sourdough Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Soaked grains
65g kibbled wheat grains
20g chia seeds
20g linseeds
20g jumbo oats
50g sunflower seeds
25g whole barley grains
15g sesame seeds
4g salt
150g boiling water

Levain
50g wholemeal flour
50g high-grade flour
100g water
2 Tablespoons sourdough starter (sourdough mother from the fridge)

Final dough
200g water
10g honey (or brown rice malt syrup)
10g olive oil
200g levain
300g flour (200g high-grade flour, 100g wholemeal flour)
Autolyse for 30-60 minutes (this is a rest period and allows the bread’s cells to split)
8g salt
20g water
soaked grains

DAY ONE
In the evening — soaked grains and levain
Prepare soaked grains and levain and leave both overnight at room temperature.
• Mix all grains with salt and pour over boiling water, don’t stir, cover with gladwrap to prevent evaporation and let stand at room temperature 12-16 hours.
• Stir two tablespoons of mother sourdough starter with both flour (50g wholemeal and 50g highgrade) and water, cover with gladwrap and let stand at room temperature 12-16 hours.

DAY TWO
In the morning — mixing, bulk fermentation, folding, shaping
• Pour 200g water into big bowl.
• Take two tablespoons of levain and put it back in the small jar and store in the fridge for up to max one week (this is your mother sourdough for the next bread)
• Add the rest of the levain (it should be 200g) to the bowl and mix thoroughly
• Add olive oil and honey (or brown rice malt syrup) and mix in
• Add 300g flour (200g highgrade, 100g wholemeal) and mix together for a short time
• Cover with tea towel and leave to autolyse for 30 to 60 minutes
• Add 8g salt and 20g water and mix with hands
• (option: place the dough in mixer and mix with dough hook on low speed for 3min and higher speed for another 3 min), don’t over mix it
• Transfer the dough in the light oiled plastic container with lid and leave to rest for 30 min
• Add soaked grains and fold in
• Fold the dough for the next two hours every 30 minutes (four folds)
• After two hours and the last fold, take the dough from the container and shape into a ball on the bench, cover with tea towel, leave for about 10-15 min
• Shape the dough into the loaf (final shape) and place in the oil sprayed tin
• Cover the tin with big plastic bag and leave for another 1-2 hours on the bench
• Place the tin covered by plastic bag in the fridge overnight

DAY THREE
In the morning — final fermentation and baking
• Take the tin with dough including plastic bag from the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 1-2 hours (final fermentation)
• Heat the oven to 240 C/fan with an old baking tray on the bottom. When oven reaches 240C place loaf tin in (without plastic bag) and pour one cup of boiling water in the old baking tray and quickly close the door to keep the steam in
• Bake for 15min at 240C/fan then pull out the tray with water. Lower oven to 200C/conventional and bake further for about 40 minutes (every oven is different)
• Take out the bread from the tin and bake it on lower heat for another 5-10 mins
• There is a great deal of water retention in this bread, so bake it thoroughly
• Place loaf onto a wire rack to cool

HARDEST PART
Waiting for the loaf to completely cool. If the loaf is not cooled correctly before slicing, the internal texture will not have set correctly and the knife will “gum up” with what seems like unbaked dough.

EASIEST PART
Then take a bread selfie and post it on the facebook page of Vera’s Food Workshops.

You are now part of the sourdough bread revolution. Slice it up and enjoy. It lasts for a couple of days fresh wrapped in a tea towel. And if there is any left on day three, toast it.

SOURDOUGH is so big in Europe that there are people who will “bread-sit” your sourdough starter if you go on holiday.

Then there is the story of a lady who had an appointment that clashed with her kneading schedule, so she took the dough with her.

In Gisborne, Vera Wilson, the sourdough bread workshop co-ordinator and fermented food extraordinaire, gathered a group in the SuperGrans kitchen on Childers Road and took them through the process of making this bread, which does not rise because of any added yeast but because of this a very special thing called “the sourdough starter”.

The starter is such a coveted slice of this recipe it is also referred to as “the sourdough mother”.

This is a great beginners’ recipe. All you need is a bowl, plastic scraper and a fork. You don‘t need fancy stuff.

Multigrain Sourdough Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Soaked grains
65g kibbled wheat grains
20g chia seeds
20g linseeds
20g jumbo oats
50g sunflower seeds
25g whole barley grains
15g sesame seeds
4g salt
150g boiling water

Levain
50g wholemeal flour
50g high-grade flour
100g water
2 Tablespoons sourdough starter (sourdough mother from the fridge)

Final dough
200g water
10g honey (or brown rice malt syrup)
10g olive oil
200g levain
300g flour (200g high-grade flour, 100g wholemeal flour)
Autolyse for 30-60 minutes (this is a rest period and allows the bread’s cells to split)
8g salt
20g water
soaked grains

DAY ONE
In the evening — soaked grains and levain
Prepare soaked grains and levain and leave both overnight at room temperature.
• Mix all grains with salt and pour over boiling water, don’t stir, cover with gladwrap to prevent evaporation and let stand at room temperature 12-16 hours.
• Stir two tablespoons of mother sourdough starter with both flour (50g wholemeal and 50g highgrade) and water, cover with gladwrap and let stand at room temperature 12-16 hours.

DAY TWO
In the morning — mixing, bulk fermentation, folding, shaping
• Pour 200g water into big bowl.
• Take two tablespoons of levain and put it back in the small jar and store in the fridge for up to max one week (this is your mother sourdough for the next bread)
• Add the rest of the levain (it should be 200g) to the bowl and mix thoroughly
• Add olive oil and honey (or brown rice malt syrup) and mix in
• Add 300g flour (200g highgrade, 100g wholemeal) and mix together for a short time
• Cover with tea towel and leave to autolyse for 30 to 60 minutes
• Add 8g salt and 20g water and mix with hands
• (option: place the dough in mixer and mix with dough hook on low speed for 3min and higher speed for another 3 min), don’t over mix it
• Transfer the dough in the light oiled plastic container with lid and leave to rest for 30 min
• Add soaked grains and fold in
• Fold the dough for the next two hours every 30 minutes (four folds)
• After two hours and the last fold, take the dough from the container and shape into a ball on the bench, cover with tea towel, leave for about 10-15 min
• Shape the dough into the loaf (final shape) and place in the oil sprayed tin
• Cover the tin with big plastic bag and leave for another 1-2 hours on the bench
• Place the tin covered by plastic bag in the fridge overnight

DAY THREE
In the morning — final fermentation and baking
• Take the tin with dough including plastic bag from the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 1-2 hours (final fermentation)
• Heat the oven to 240 C/fan with an old baking tray on the bottom. When oven reaches 240C place loaf tin in (without plastic bag) and pour one cup of boiling water in the old baking tray and quickly close the door to keep the steam in
• Bake for 15min at 240C/fan then pull out the tray with water. Lower oven to 200C/conventional and bake further for about 40 minutes (every oven is different)
• Take out the bread from the tin and bake it on lower heat for another 5-10 mins
• There is a great deal of water retention in this bread, so bake it thoroughly
• Place loaf onto a wire rack to cool

HARDEST PART
Waiting for the loaf to completely cool. If the loaf is not cooled correctly before slicing, the internal texture will not have set correctly and the knife will “gum up” with what seems like unbaked dough.

EASIEST PART
Then take a bread selfie and post it on the facebook page of Vera’s Food Workshops.

You are now part of the sourdough bread revolution. Slice it up and enjoy. It lasts for a couple of days fresh wrapped in a tea towel. And if there is any left on day three, toast it.

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