Bake wholesome #realbread at home with tried and tested recipes from The Bread She Bakes
Category: Sourdough recipes
Baking bread with sourdough is the purest form of baking. Commercial yeast isn’t needed as naturally occurring yeasts are taking care of the rise. Keeping the sourdough in harmonious balance, baking with it again and again and transforming the most basic ingredients into wonderfully complex loaves is the essence of #realbread baking. Based on slow fermentation, the excellent flavour and texture of sourdough loaves are sure to reward your patience.
If you are the beginning of your sourdough journey, start by creating a sourdough culture from scratch. All you’ll need is flour and water. I’ve typed up step-by-step instructions for both a rye sourdough starter and spelt sourdough starter.
If you’ve already got your sourdough starter at the ready, here are my sourdough recipes:
Bagels are exciting; not only because of their unique taste but also because the baking process involves boiling the bagels before baking them. It’s this process that creates the wonderfully chewy interior crumb while leaving the outside browned, crisp and shiny.
There are two different shaping methods –
‘Rope and loop’: Makes a rounder bagel and the overlap of the rope ends makes it unmistakably homemade
‘Stretch and poke’: Better looking and no danger of the loop opening up when boiling
Ingredients (yeast version) – 6 bagels
7g dry yeast
350g strong high-protein bread flour (around 14% protein is good, I used Marriages flour (13.8%))
150g wholemeal bread flour
275g lukewarm water
2 tbsp clear honey
Ingredients (sourdough version) – 6 bagels
200g sourdough starter
300g strong high-protein bread flour (see description above)
75g wholemeal bread flour
75g light rye flour
135g lukewarm water
2 tbsp clear honey
How to make bagels:
Combine all ingredients (except the egg) to form a firm dough – might need a little more water depending on the flours you use
Knead for 10 mins for a firm and elastic dough (wetter isn’t better when it comes to bagels; the dough should be quite firm)
Slighltly oil a large bowl and also coat the dough with a little oil, place in the bowl and cover with cling film
Yeast version: rest for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size Sourdough version: rest for 4 hours (this may vary depending on the ‘ferociousness’ of your starter and the room temperature)
Divide into 6 pieces
Shape each piece into a roll, then form a ring (these should be roughly hand-sized)
Link the crossed over ends with wet hands
Place on baking paper
Cover with a damp kitchen towel as you work
Yeast version: rest for 30 mins Sourdough version: rest for 1-2 hours
Preheat the oven to 220°C (gas mark 7)
Boil a large pot of water
Lower to a gentle simmer and lower the bagels in approx. 3 at a time or as many as fit comfortably. They should be floating at the top.
Leave 1 min on 1 side, flip over to boil for another minute on the other side
2 mins each side makes a really chewy bagel
Remove and drain, don’t use a paper kitchen towel as it will stick!
Place on a ligthly oiled baking sheet
Prepare some egg wash
Brush each bagel with egg wash and sprinkle on the seeds (see toppings above)
Bake for 10 – 15 mins until golden brown
Cool on a wire rack
You can store the bagels in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Best eaten fresh!!
Don’t worry about larger holes in the crumb – they are perfect for trapping an extra bit of cream cheese!
I love experimenting with new flours and was very excited to receive a collection of specialty flours as a recent birthday present (thank you Yasmin!). One of the flours in the bundle was chickpea flour and, as a big fan of chickpea dishes, this was the first flour to enter my bread lab. In this post, I’ve typed up my chickpea flour bread baking notes as well as my recipe for a chickpea flour sourdough bread.
General baking notes on chickpea flour
The flour I’m baking with is gram flour (also sometimes called besan flour) which is milled from gram or chana dhal, a kind of small chickpea. The dried chickpeas are ground into a fine pale yellow powder.
The flour has an earthy, beany flavour best suited to savoury bakes.
It’s recommended to limit the amount of chickpea flour you use in a loaf of bread. Work with 10% to 35% due to its strong flavour and ‘pasty mouthfeel’ as Andrew Whitley describes it.
Chickpea flour is nutritious and a good source of protein (12.8g per 100g) and fibre (9.7g per 100g). The nutritional values are for Doves Farm gram flour.
It’s also gluten free.
Chickpea flour breads
Here are the results of my chickpea flour test kitchen.
Chickpea Flour Sourdough Loaf
My first venture involved making chickpea flour part of my weekly sourdough baking routine. The first few chickpea flour sourdough bread loaves turned out well. However, I still preferred the taste and texture of my standard Kamut & flaxseed sourdough loaf. Recently, I started to incorporate fennel seeds into my chickpea flour sourdough and am much happier with the flavour. I feel pleased enough to finally share the recipe with you. Hope you like it too!
30g sourdough starter
50g strong white wheat flour
25g wholemeal wheat flour
25g wholemeal rye flour
400g strong white wheat flour
50g wholemeal wheat flour
25g wholemeal rye flour
125g chickpea flour
1 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
How to make chickpea flour bread
On day 1, refresh your sourdough starter. In a medium bowl, combine the sourdough starter, the flours and water and mix well. Cover and leave to stand at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours.
On day 2, combine 200g sourdough (the remaining 30g go back into the fridge for future bakes), the flours, salt, fennel seeds and water.
Form a dough and knead for 10 minutes. Use your dough scrapers to help with this process.
Shape into a boule, place the dough back into your bowl, cover and leave to stand at room temperature for about an hour or so.
Turn out the dough, give it another quick knead and shape into a round loaf.
Prepare a flour bath (I use rice flour on a large plate) and lightly flour a proving basket.
Cover the loaf in flour by carefully moving it around the flour bath. Hold it together at the top to make sure the bottom side is kept nice and smooth.
Place it seam-side up into the proving basket, cover with a polythene bag and leave at room temperature to prove for several hours. The time it takes to prove will depend on the temperature in your room and the vigour of your sourdough. In my kitchen, this takes about three hours.
Preheat the oven to 220°C and if you are using a La Cloche baking dome, preheat this in the oven from cold as well. Otherwise, line a baking tray with baking paper.
Turn out the loaf onto the hot La Cloche plate or baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 220°C and for a further 50 minutes at 200°C.
Finally, I also had a go at the famous Farinata (also called Socca), an unleavened flatbread made with chickpea flour. It was perhaps the easiest bread I’ve ever made, but will I make it again? The taste of Farinata is quite overwhelmingly ‘beany’ and getting the seasoning right is therefore key. Having tried a few variations, I can recommend this version of the recipe from Cinnamon Girl.
If you are using chickpea flour successfully for bread making and you’re happy with your results, please share your recipes and experiences. If you haven’t used it before, you can simply order Doves Farm Chickpea Flour online.