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Sourdough Bread

THE CHALLENGE

"It was only once I’d baked my first loaf that I fully appreciated the magic of sourdough. There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from turning a few simple ingredients into a beautifully risen hunk of rustic moreishness, and once you’ve cracked it you can bake great loaves as often as you want to. The knack for baking sourdough develops over time – and I should add a warning here that the process is seriously addictive! To get myself up to speed, I went to a masterclass run by baking expert Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, where I learned so much in just a few hours. Although the recipe looks complicated, I promise you it’s easy once you’ve developed a feel for the process and for the dough. If you’ve never tried it before, make this the moment."

BEFORE YOU START... You need to begin making the starter a week before you want to make your first loaf. As with all recipes, read it all the way through, including the tips, before you begin

WHAT IS SOURDOUGH?

It’s bread made with a natural leaven or rising agent (called a starter) instead of dried or fresh yeast. The starter is made by mixing flour and water, which harnesses the action of naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria in the flour and in the air. After a few days, the starter begins to bubble and ferment, developing its typical sour aroma. Bread made using a sourdough starter rises more slowly than a yeasted loaf, but the extra time means the gluten and flavour develop more, giving the finished loaf a distinctive sour tang and wonderfully chewy texture.

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About Delicious Magazine

Tuck into the January issue of Delicious – it’s packed with comforting recipes including Nigel Slater’s warming wonders, three-ways with meatballs, main-meal soups, Alpine recipes for mountainous appetites and a heartwarming mac ‘n’ cheese. Plus, there are great no-faff midweek meals, lighter recipes for the new year and foolproof guides to perfect Yorkshire puds, sourdough bread and pork wontons – satisfaction guaranteed.
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