An alternative approach to traditional kneading, using the ‘stretch & fold’ technique allows for confident breadmaking when dealing with higher hydration doughs. This 65% hydration sour dough is still quite sticky compared with the basic white, but demonstrates how more water, and a different technique can give you a much better outcome. In this recipe, I also get to test out my new banneton, which gives this loaf a wonderful shape and makes handling the proven dough much easier.
The small amount of Rye adds a nice rustic touch to the loaf, which comes out with a minimal ‘sour’ content due to the relatively fast proving time. If more sourness is needed, prove overnight (or longer) in the fridge and remove an hour or so before baking.
Makes 1 loaf
- 325g Strong White Flour
- 50g Organic Wholegrain Rye Flour
- 250g Sourdough Starter
- 8g Salt
- 200ml Water
- Add the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix lightly.
- Add the water to the sourdough to slacken up, then pour into the mixing bowl. Mix briefly with fork before getting in with your hand, turning the dough over to get the liquid incorporated, and set aside to autolyse for 30 minutes, covered with a cloth
- The dough should be quite sticky. Turn out onto a clean surface and stretch & fold the dough back on itself, one stretch and fold for each ‘side’ of the dough. Using a dough scraper to help makes this MUCH easier than just using your hands. Return to the bowl for about 45 minutes
- Repeat the previous step until you have made 4 cycles of ‘stretch & fold’. After the last cycle it should be apparent that the dough is increasing in volume, and that the structure has developed into a much stronger dough which is capable of holding it’s shape. Shape the dough into a tidy round
- Take a banneton or proving basket and coat well with flour and add the dough, smooth side down into the bowl. Cover with a cloth and leave to prove until doubled in height. For me, this took 5 hours at room temperature
- Preheat an oven to 190oC Fan. Turn the proven dough out onto a tray, and dust the top of the dough with a little rye flour or semolina. Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Using a baking stone will help to give an even bake and a nice crusty base