Welcome to #SourdoughSeptember! We’re so excited to join the 2020 #LockdownLoafers in baking and creating artisanal sourdough this month. Of all the things the pandemic brought forth, bread is a strong favourite here at Nourish HQ.
To get the celebrations started, we’re sharing this Fig and Fennel Sourdough recipe from Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young – to join in and make some Real Bread, you can get your copy of the book here!
Fig and Fennel Sourdough, taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread
Makes: 1 large loaf
From mixing to oven: overnight plus 5 hours
Baking time: 30 minutes
For the pre-ferment:
100g / 3 and a 1⁄2oz / scant 1⁄2 cup white sourdough starter
75g / 2 and a 1⁄2oz / 1⁄2 cup plus 1⁄2 tbsp white bread flour
75g / 2 and a 1⁄2oz / scant 1⁄3 cup water
For the dough:
350g / 12oz / 2 and a 1⁄2 cups white bread flour
150g / 5 and a 1⁄2oz / 1 cup wholemeal / wholewheat bread flour
300g / 10 and a 1⁄2oz / 1 and a 1⁄4 cups water
10g / 1 heaping tbsp green fennel seeds
10g / 2 tsp fine / table salt
175g / 6 and a 1⁄4oz / scant 1 and a 1⁄4 cups quartered dried figs
1. Mix the pre-ferment ingredients together thoroughly, cover and leave at room temperature for 12–14 hours (typically overnight).
2. To make the dough, add both flours with the water and fennel seeds to the pre-ferment, and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 20–30 minutes.
3. Mix in the salt and knead for a few minutes. Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for another 30 minutes.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle. Distribute the figs evenly over half the dough, then fold the other half over them, pressing the edges together to seal. Roll the dough out again, fold in half and roll out once more. If the figs are not evenly distributed, repeat the process but be careful not to mush them up completely.
5. Shape the dough into a ball, cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 1 hour.
6. Give the dough a single fold, cover and leave to prove for another 2 hours, or until almost doubled in size.
7. Dust a proving basket well with flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape to fit the basket. Place the dough seam-side up in the basket, cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 1 hour.
8. Heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/450°F/gas 8, with a baking stone or baking sheet in place. Turn the dough out onto a peel and slide it onto the baking stone. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas 6 and bake for a further 20 minutes, checking halfway through that it is not browning too quickly.
Happy Baking! Why not upload a #SourdoughSelfie tag @RealBreadCampaign and @NourishBooks on Instagram!