Sourdough

Barley + Sunflower Sourdough


Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 18 hours | Difficulty: Sourdough

Hello my lovelies! Must be time for some sourdough. Natch. I love barley and sunflower together. A slightly sweet and nutty combination. It’s a combo I use a lot when I’m making crackers too. Soft bread with crunchy seeds sprinkled through. Lovely as buttery toast with warming soup.

As usual with sourdough the timings are approximate and you’ll need a day when you’ll be about the house and can keep a loose eye on the dough. Don’t worry if you get a bit distracted and things happen a bit later here or there. It’s an exercise in slow relaxed creation. Chill out and let the microbes do the work.

First up is making the pre-ferment the night before. Just before bed mix the flour, water and starter for the preferment in a large bowl. Cover and leave to one side.

In the morning the preferment will have risen up and when you look underneath there will be bubbles all through it. Because this is barley as soon as you start to stir it will collapse but don’t worry!

Add the first measure of water for the dough (170 grams) and the honey and give it a stir to distribute the honey.

Add the bread flour and sunflower seeds and mix until it comes together. Work the dough a little longer by folding the edges into the middle for about 5 minutes. It will feel kind of firm now and that’s ok. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest (autolyse) for 30 to 60 minutes.

After the resting time is up mix the second measure of water (30 grams) and salt together in a small bowl and add it to the dough. Knead it in the bowl to distribute the salt thoroughly. This gives you a few more minutes of kneading to round out the process.

Cover the bowl and leave it to ferment for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place. If you leave it for 3 because you got busy that’s fine. Now that the weather is getting colder here I’m leaving it for longer. Experiment to see what works in your kitchen.

After the bulk ferment has done its thing you need to start stretching. This wakes the gluten back up and traps pockets of air in the dough so that when you bake the loaf. You need to do four sets of folds in all. Do them around 20 to 30 minutes apart. No one will die if you are distracted and one of them is a bit later. To do a set of folds moisten your hand and reach under the dough on the side of the bowl furthest from you. Pull a handful up and fold it down towards yourself onto the rest of the dough.

Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Go all around the bowl doing four folds in all. Cover and leave for 20 to 30 minutes and then repeat until you’ve done four sets. If the dough is resisting you a lot and won’t really stretch then do 3 sets of folds about 45 mins apart instead. That resistance is gluten and if it’s already happy that’s good. After the last fold leave the dough for around an hour to chill out.

Put the oven on to 250C (485F). Put your clean cast iron casserole dish in the oven with the lid on to heat up. If you have a cane or pressed conifer proving basket then dust this liberally with flour. Rub it it well so it coats the surface. If you don’t then dust a linen tea towel heavily with flour and lay it into a medium bowl.

To shape a loaf I like to dust the bench heavily with flour and then turn the dough out onto the flour. I then use my fingers to stretch the dough over the top and pinch it together. This will create a taught surface on the bottom of the dough which is also well floured. Shape the loaf to fit your basket or bowl. Don’t handle the dough more than you need to. We want to retain any air bubbles that are in there so they can expand into a lovely open crumb when we bake.

Lift it gently into the proving basket or bowl and lay it flour side down. You will be inverting this later so the smooth side that is on the bottom now will become the top later.

Cover and leave to rise for between 40 and 90 minutes. It shouldn’t fully double in size but will be about half as big again. You will get to know what this looks like with practice. I know that a loaf this size is ready to bake when it crests out of the basket I use by about 2 inches. How long this takes will depend on the weather and temperature.

Cut a piece of baking paper big enough that as several inches clearance in either side of your unbaked loaf. You need room for handles. Lay the paper over the top of your dough.

Support the dough with one hand and use the other to gently tip the basket/bowl over. Do this near the bench surface so the dough doesn’t fall.

You will feel the dough release from the surface of the basket/bowl. If it doesn’t just give it a few seconds to let go. Don’t pull on the basket or tea towel or you can tear the surface of the dough.

If you wish to slash your loaf you can. It helps control how the loaf will rise and adds some flair. We could all do with some flair. Use a lame, the very sharpest serrated knife you have or a razor blade with a sticking plaster on one side.

Put a wire rack on the bench next to the oven. Open the oven door and take out your pan and set it on the rack. Remove the lid and set that on the rack next to it. Quickly lift your loaf by the baking paper and lower it gently into the pan.

Put the lid back on and put it back in the oven and shut the door. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and behold your beautiful well risen loaf.

Bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid off. I always go for the longer time to get a good dark crust.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. You should let the loaf cool completely before slicing. I know I know. Cooking is still happening in the middle of the hot loaf so hold off if you can!

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Barley + Sunflower Sourdough


Prep Time : 30 mins | Cook Time : 30 mins | Total Time : 18 hours | Difficulty : Sourdough

Makes : 1 large loaf

Chewy sourdough with soft buttery notes of barley and studded with sunflower seeds.

Ingredients:

For the preferment:

  • 150 grams wholegrain barley flour
  • 150 grams warm water
  • 50 grams sourdough starter

For the dough

  • All of the preferment
  • 25 grams honey
  • 170 grams water
  • 350 grams strong bread flour
  • 50 grams sunflower seeds
  • 30 grams water
  • 15 grams fine salt

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • large bowl and spoons
  • 4-5 litre cast iron (or other heavy) casserole dish with lid
  • bread proving basket or bowl lined with a linen tea towel
  • sharp serrated knife or bread lame

Directions:

First up is making the pre-ferment the night before. Just before bed mix the flour, water and starter for the preferment in a large bowl. Cover and leave to one side.

In the morning the preferment will have risen up and when you look underneath there will be bubbles all through it. Because this is barley as soon as you start to stir it will collapse but don’t worry!

Add the first measure of water for the dough (170 grams) and the honey and give it a stir to distribute the honey.

Add the bread flour and sunflower seeds and mix until it comes together. Work the dough a little longer by folding the edges into the middle for about 5 minutes. It will feel kind of firm now and that’s ok. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest (autolyse) for 30 to 60 minutes.

After the resting time is up mix the second measure of water (30 grams) and salt together in a small bowl and add it to the dough. Knead it in the bowl to distribute the salt thoroughly. This gives you a few more minutes of kneading to round out the process.

Cover the bowl and leave it to ferment for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place. If you leave it for 3 because you got busy that’s fine. Now that the weather is getting colder here I’m leaving it for longer. Experiment to see what works in your kitchen.

After the bulk ferment has done its thing you need to start stretching. This wakes the gluten back up and traps pockets of air in the dough so that when you bake the loaf. You need to do four sets of folds in all. Do them around 20 to 30 minutes apart. No one will die if you are distracted and one of them is a bit later. To do a set of folds moisten your hand and reach under the dough on the side of the bowl furthest from you. Pull a handful up and fold it down towards yourself onto the rest of the dough.

Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Go all around the bowl doing four folds in all. Cover and leave for 20 to 30 minutes and then repeat until you’ve done four sets. If the dough is resisting you a lot and won’t really stretch then do 3 sets of folds about 45 mins apart instead. That resistance is gluten and if it’s already happy that’s good. After the last fold leave the dough for around an hour to chill out.

Put the oven on to 250C (485F). Put your clean cast iron casserole dish in the oven with the lid on to heat up. If you have a cane or pressed conifer proving basket then dust this liberally with flour. Rub it it well so it coats the surface. If you don’t then dust a linen tea towel heavily with flour and lay it into a medium bowl.

To shape a loaf I like to dust the bench heavily with flour and then turn the dough out onto the flour. I then use my fingers to stretch the dough over the top and pinch it together. This will create a taught surface on the bottom of the dough which is also well floured. Shape the loaf to fit your basket or bowl. Don’t handle the dough more than you need to. We want to retain any air bubbles that are in there so they can expand into a lovely open crumb when we bake.

Lift it gently into the proving basket or bowl and lay it flour side down. You will be inverting this later so the smooth side that is on the bottom now will become the top later.

Cover and leave to rise for between 40 and 90 minutes. It shouldn’t fully double in size but will be about half as big again. You will get to know what this looks like with practice. I know that a loaf this size is ready to bake when it crests out of the basket I use by about 2 inches. How long this takes will depend on the weather and temperature.

Cut a piece of baking paper big enough that as several inches clearance in either side of your unbaked loaf. You need room for handles. Lay the paper over the top of your dough.

Support the dough with one hand and use the other to gently tip the basket/bowl over. Do this near the bench surface so the dough doesn’t fall.

You will feel the dough release from the surface of the basket/bowl. If it doesn’t just give it a few seconds to let go. Don’t pull on the basket or tea towel or you can tear the surface of the dough.

If you wish to slash your loaf you can. It helps control how the loaf will rise and adds some flair. We could all do with some flair. Use a lame, the very sharpest serrated knife you have or a razor blade with a sticking plaster on one side.

Put a wire rack on the bench next to the oven. Open the oven door and take out your pan and set it on the rack. Remove the lid and set that on the rack next to it. Quickly lift your loaf by the baking paper and lower it gently into the pan.

Put the lid back on and put it back in the oven and shut the door. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and behold your beautiful well risen loaf.

Bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid off. I always go for the longer time to get a good dark crust.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. You should let the loaf cool completely before slicing. I know I know. Cooking is still happening in the middle of the hot loaf. Cutting it while it’s warm can squish the crumb and let excess moisture escape so the un-eaten part will be drier.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Try to find a wholegrain barley flour to get the best flavour. Because of the structure of barley flour it’s not going to behave like wheat flour in the preferment stage and won’t hold any structure when it’s stirred and the finished dough won’t stretch as far.
  • Make sure you use hulled sunflower kernels in this recipe.

 – Keep sourdough at room temperature but not sealed in plastic and it will last for up to a week. – 

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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