Natural Starter Country Loaf

Natural Starter Country Loaf // Mono + Co

If there is anything that I have too much of in the fridge right now, it will be my raisin yeast starter.  About 200g of it in 3 different glass containers, resting in deep slumber at the back of my chiller.  I am slowly cleaning out one of the bottles with a schedule that yield 160g of active starter in 2 days.

Natural Starter Country Loaf // Mono + CoNatural Starter Country Loaf // Mono + Co

My chilled starter, I reckoned to be pretty healthy, gets all ready by 2nd feeding.  The timetable goes roughly like this:

Day 1 / 7am
start with : 20g of dormant/chilled starter + a clean glass/ clear plastic jar with at least 300ml capacity
add : 20g filtered water and 20g plain flour
stir : with a clean wooden chopstick to mix well until no visible traces of white flour

set aside : at room temperature (28-30C) for 24 hours

Day 2/ 7am
add :  50g filtered water and 50g plain flour to the 60g overnight starter
stir : with a clean wooden to mix well until no visible traces of white flour
set aside : at room temperature, ready to use when the starter rise to double/triple its volume, mine took around 4-5 hours
** After emptying the bottle, I do not wash it.
Instead, I reuse it to start the steps all over again, hoping that the activated starter remains in the unwashed bottle helps to kickstart the next batch making them stronger and faster to rise.

Proceed to bake your favorite bread.  I used mine to bake a country loaf recipe from this book,  but lend a slow fermentation technique from this blog to bake the end product.

Natural Starter Country Loaf // Mono + Co


Natural Starter Country Loaf

adapted a recipe from this book
295g plain flour
160g fed starter
6g salt
183g cold water

In a mixer bowl, add plain flour, ripe starter and salt.  Start the mixer to knead the ingredients on its lowest speed. Pour cold water slowly into the mixer bowl with the mixer running.

Continue to knead for 5 minuted, until the dough looks smooth.  This dough will be sticky.  Transfer to a covered container, and leave this in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Return the dough to room temperature and let it rise to double its volume, this will take about 3-5 hours depending on room temperature.

Transfer the dough onto a generously floured worktop.  With flour hands and a bench scraper, stretch and fold the dough into a rectangle shape like this.  Stretch and fold the dough 2 times.  Cover the dough with an inverted large mixing bowl or large plastic container and let it rest for 1 hour on the worktop. Repeat the stretch and fold steps again after 1 hour, and let it rest for a further hour.

Shape the dough and transfer to a well floured baking tray.  Cover and let rise for 2-3 hours.  I divided my dough into 2 equal portions and shaped them into long loaves.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200C.  Make a few slashes on the surface with a sharp knife just before sending the bread into a preheated oven to bake for 35-40 minutes.

Cool on rack completely before slicing to serve.

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