Thank you all for purchasing the starter pack! We’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible to get you going.
Step 1: Feeding your starter
The night before you want to bake your bread you will need to feed your starter. To do this, empty your starter pot into a large container and, using the same pot, add two level pots of flour from the bag and one of water that is room temperature. Mix well, until all flour is incorporated.
It will be quite firm mixture. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.
Step 2: Make your dough.
Firstly, remove a tiny portion of your starter to you can start again on the next loaf!
With the remaining starter, weigh out 1000g of flour and 700g of water. This is what’s known as “70% Hydration” (meaning the water weighs 70% of the flour).
Make sure you weigh your water as you want to be precise.
Mix the three together. It will feel a little wetter than your used to, but trust the recipe and don’t be tempted to add any flour! Leave it for half an hour. We want the yeast to have time to ferment without being restricted by the salt and for gluten to develop.
Step 3: Season and Knead.
Now is the time to add the salt, weigh 20g for the 1000g of flour.
Tip your dough out of the bowl, sprinkle the salt over and begin to gently knead for a few minutes to incorporate the salt. Use whatever technique you like, we recommend the “slap and fold” technique. Lift the dough off the table, swing it back, slap it down and fold it over!
Once the salt has been incorporated, place back in the bowl and leave for another 30 minutes
Step 4: Stretch & Fold x 3
To develop further gluten, grab a corner of the dough and stretch it as far as it will go without ripping and fold it back over the rest of the dough. Repeat in each corner. Leave for an hour, repeat stretching, leave for another hour and then do the final stretching. Once you have done your 3 sets of stretches you want to leave it for a final hour.
Step 5: Preshape
Take your now smooth and silky dough and divide it into two. Roll each into a ball and try to create surface tension. You can do this by continually moving the dough round and folding the sides into the middle until it’s tight.
Place the one you wont be using into a bowl and cover with a tea towel until the next day/your banneton is free.
Step 6: Final Shape.
Dust your Banneton.
Turn the dough over so the top is now on the bottom, stretch out the sides and then fold into the middle. Then, moving firmly and confidently, roll up the dough like a sausage and seal the seam. Place seam side up in your banneton. Leave to rest for 3 hours at room temperature or, for better flavour, overnight in the fridge.
Step 7: BAKE
Preheat your oven to 240C for an hour with either a baking stone or a heavy based pan upturned on the middle shelf.
When ready, turn your banneton over onto the hot stone/pan, releasing the dough, and score a cut right down the loaf about 1cm deep at a slight angle. Spray some water into the oven/place a tray of water at the bottom and close the oven door. (You can skip this step by using a dutch oven instead of a baking stone). Bake for 5 minutes and then turn down to 210C for 35 minutes.
After 35 minutes “burp” your oven to release the steam and help form a crust. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
When ready, you can either take your loaf to cool or, if you like a thicker crust, turn the oven off and let the bread cool in the oven!
Caring for your starter
When you’re not using your starter, keep it in the fridge but give it a feed before doing so! Discard half, weigh the remaining and add 2 x Flour and 1 x Water.
Pop it in the fridge and it will remain happily there for a week or two until you’re ready to start the process again.