Friday, 29 March 2013

Overnight Sponge and Dough Method part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post about "Overnight Sponge and Dough Method Bread", I changed the ratio of flour and water here. The new formula is much easier to handle than the previous one.
I used wholemeal flour for the 2nd stage of 175g flour. the bread tasted great with a thin crust and very soft and moist crumb. However, there were a few big bubbles inside. Perhaps I couldn't knock all the air out before shaping the loaf.  Well, it's a learning curve. :)

For the sponge
  • 200ml warm water (about 30-35C)
  • 1 level tsp easy-blend yeast (it may also be called "fast-action dried yeast", "instant yeast")
  • 175g strong white bread flour

For the dough
  • 175g strong white bread flour (or other kind of flour e.g. wholemeal, rye etc.) 
  • 1 level tsp fine salt
  • 10ml olive oil

  1. In a big mixing bowl add the warm water and stir in the yeast.  Add the flour, stir it up well with a wooden spoon, cover the bowl and leave overnight.
  2. When you're ready to make your dough, put the second batch of flour (175g) into the yeast batter.  Add salt and olive oil, then mix well.
  3. Lightly flour the work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes, then cover and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in height (2-3 hours).
  4. When the dough is ready, knock it back (pushing it away from the sides with your knuckles) and tip it onto a work surface.
  5. Mould the dough into rugby ball shapes and place them on a baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove (30 mins - 1 hour). Dust the top of the loaf with a little more flour and slash the top with a sharp knife if you want.
  6. Heat oven to 220C/ fan 200C/ gas 7.
  7. Pour hot water onto the bottom of the oven or into a dish at the bottom of the oven to create steam. 
  8. Bake the bread for 20 mins, then reduce the heat to 190C /fan 170C/gas 5 and continue to bake for 30 mins until the loaf sounds hollow when removed from the oven and tapped on the base. Leave the bread on a wire rack to cool completely