How to bake fresh sourdough batard

Nothing quite like the smell of fresh baked bread.
1 loaf

If you haven’t already started on the sourdough craze then now is your time. It will take some time but it’s worth the effort for fresh baked bread.

For this recipe you will first need a sourdough starter you can create your own or to save on time and energy you can purchase a live organic sourdough starter.

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1.On Day 4 or 6, combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the starter and enough of the water to make a moist dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. (Or knead dough in a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook for 5 minutes.)
2.Place dough in an oiled large bowl; cover with a clean tea towel. Stand in a warm place for 30 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.
3.On Day 5 or 7, lightly grease a large oven tray. Remove plastic wrap from dough; cover bowl with a clean tea towel. Stand in a warm place for 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
4.Carefully and gently ease dough onto a lightly floured surface, taking care not to damage the air bubbles; do not knead. Pat dough into a 20cm x 25cm (8in x 10in) rectangle, without breaking the air bubbles. Have the long side facing you. Fold top half of the dough into the centre; press lightly to seal. Fold bottom half of the dough into the centre; press lightly to seal. Fold dough in half, pressing lightly to seal. The dough will become longer as you work with it because it is soft, so it should look like a large cylinder, about 40cm (16in) long. Lightly roll ends to taper and create a classic batard shape. Place dough, seam-side down, diagonally on tray; cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
5.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 240°C/475°F. Using a sharp knife or razor blade, cut a 1cm (½in) deep slash down the centre of the loaf. Stand for 5 minutes.
6.Bake bread for 10 minutes. Spray the bread lightly with water to help create a good crust. Bake for a further 20 minutes, spraying with water another two times during cooking and rotating tray for even cooking if needed, or until well browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The standing times given here are approximate. In warmer weather, the dough may take less time to prove and in winter or a cooler environment, it may take longer.

This bread is best baked on the day of serving.

Can be frozen for up to 2 months.


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