Use a Sourdough Starter for this delicious Sourdough Loaf baked in the AGA roasting oven.
312g room temperature water
100g sourdough starter, ready to use
500g strong white flour
1 tsp salt
- Weigh the water into a medium sized bowl and add the sourdough starter. The starter should float in the water. Stir until combined.
- Add 500g flour and mix together until no dry patches remain. Set aside for 10 - 15 minutes.
- This is a good moment to feed your remaining starter. If there is more than a tbsp or two left, discard this (or make crumpets with it by adding some bicarbonate of soda and salt), then feed the starter by adding 50g flour and 50g water. Stir, cover and leave at room temperature.
- To continue with making the loaf, add 1 tsp salt and 25g water and mix by hand until incorporated. Add some olives, nuts, seeds as you wish at this point, too.
- Then do the first of 4 ‘stretch and folds’; with a slightly damp hand, pick up one side of the dough and stretch it over the top, it won’t be very stretchy yet but will improve as the gluten develops. Make a quarter turn of the dough and repeat, doing 4 stretch and folds. Cover with a tea towel and set aside at room temperature for 30 mins. Repeat 3 times then turn the dough on to a floured surface.
- Shape the dough into a round ball by repeating the stretch and folding a few times, bringing the lifted side all the way over to the other side of the dough ball if possible. This will develop a smooth surface on the bottom of the dough which will eventually be the top of your finished loaf.
- Take a proving basket (or medium sized bowl lined with a clean tea towel), flour it well then place the dough in, with the smooth side downwards and the folded side facing up. Cover and place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
- To bake, preheat a cast iron pan or similar round oven proof dish, approx 26 cms wide. Dust the bottom of the preheated dish with some flour, then very carefully as the dish will be hot, turn the risen dough into the heated dish, so that the smooth side from the bottom of the proving basket now faces upwards.
- Take a sharp knife and carefully score the top of the loaf - this is your ‘bakers signature’ and allows the loaf to rise hopefully without cracking.
- Bake in the AGA roasting oven for 30 mins with the lid on if you have one, then for a further 10 -15 mins without the lid.
- Cool and serve straight away or wrap in a clean tea towel for a couple of days. Alternatively, freeze either whole, cut into quarters or sliced.
- Bread can be defrosted in the AGA warming oven or on the AGA warming plate. Frozen slices can be toasted direct from frozen using the AGA toaster on the boiling plate.