Paul seemed to like these, but I like them too. In fact, this, I feel, is one of the very best beginner’s Sourdoughs, as the dough is comparatively very dry and easy to work with. The name, according to the Bourke St Bakery, comes from the tradition of sweeping the floors of the bakery at the end of the day and baking this style of loaf with the sweepings – predominantly white, but with lashings of rye and wholemeal for a wonderful complexity.
400g White Sourdough Starter, 1:1 ratio flour:water (See end for starting your own)
300g Strong White Flour
150g Wholemeal bread flour
150g Light Rye Flour
260g tepid water
40g high quality honey
Semolina, for dusting
1. Combine flours, water, honey and starter
2. Knead for 5 minutes.
3. ADD SALT (don’t forget…)
4. Knead at least another 5 minutes, until strong dough is formed and salt is totally dissolved
5. Rest 4 hours at room temperature (depending on starter activity and other factors this may vary; was 2 hours in bake off drawer). It may need some folding to keep the dough’s shape.
6. Divide into 12 pieces and shape into a tight baguette shape. Make a ring and roll your hands over the crossed over section. Make sure you’ve got quite a tight shape.
7. Place all the bagels on an oiled piece of baking paper.
8. Prove 1-2 hours depending on temperature. You want quite a dense crumb in a bagel.
9. Bring large pot of water to the boil, adding approx 5g bicarb per litre
10. Boil each bagel for 30 seconds on each side, each spaced 15 seconds apart.
11. As soon as each bagel comes out the water, drain using slotted spoon and plunge into seeds.
12. Place boiled bagels on two separate oiled trays and bake on preheated baking stones in a fan oven for 10-13 minutes, no more.
Don’t have a starter? Then you can make one! I’ve made quite a few and the best results have always come from adding raisins. So mix 100g bread flour and 100g water and some raisins and leave in a jar. Leave for 3-7 days. When you see bubbles, this is good. Add a little extra flour and water. When you’ve got lots of bubbles, this is very good, and pour some starter away and feed with equal quantities of flour and water.
Contrary to popular belief, its quite hard to kill a starter. Even if its black on top, pour away this liquid, and add a LITTLE flour (no water). You want to SLOWLY build the yeast and bacteria back up to being in a ‘fed’ state, and overfeeding really fast can actually stress them out to the extent that they will die.