I tested this recipe for cold oven sourdough bread a few times. First off, I wanted to make sure the actual bread would work so I used my normal baking method. This meant putting the bread into the oven to get the perfect oven spring, and then turning the heat down. The result was a thick crust and a good crumb. I then baked the bread starting in a cold oven, and the crust and crumb were perfect. To see what would happen if I baked the bread for longer at a lower temperature I baked another loaf. This resulted in a very soft crust, which is not to my liking.
All you need to make the perfect loaf of bread is flour, water, salt and yeast. The quality of your flour makes a difference so I recommend using stone ground flour. All my bread doughs use a sourdough starter, which is a fermentation starter. There are many types, such as poolish, which is wet and a 100% hydration starter. Using equal parts flour and water, plus a little bit of yeast, it is most commonly used for baguettes. Biga is stiffer, using double the flour to water, a little bit of yeast and no salt. This is used for wetter doughs such as those used to make ciabatta. Pâte fermentée is the term used when an old batch of flour, water, yeast and salt dough is added to the new dough. A sponge is used for sweet or enriched breads.
Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ Cold Oven Sourdough Bread ♥ #LavenderAndLime Click To Tweet
My starter is a pure flour and water mix and I feed Cordelia to keep her 100% hydrated. Using a pre-ferment will keep your bread fresher for longer as it is a a natural preservative. However, the longer it stands the more the fermented flavour will develop, and it will get chewier. Never store your fresh bread in plastic, and freeze it on the day of baking, wrapped tightly in clingfilm. You do however need to eat the frozen bread within two weeks. If you don’t manage to get through an entire loaf, blitz the bread to make your own bread crumbs. Or use the stale bread to thicken soups and stews. You can use the hard bread to make French toast for a decadent breakfast. Or fry cubes of it in butter, garlic and herbs to make croutons or pangritata.
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
Cold Oven Sourdough Bread
- 1 banneton (or any proving basket)
- 1 lidded enamel baking tin
To feed your starter:
- 30 mls unfed sourdough starter
- 30 mls water
- 30 mls bread flour
To make the bread:
- 350 g water
- 500 g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 5 mls fine salt
To feed your starter:
- In the morning, place your starter, water and flour into a large mixing bowl and mix to combine *
- Leave for at least an hour, until nice and bubbly **
To make the bread:
- Add the water to the fed starter and mix to combine
- Then add the flour and salt and mix together by hand until completely mixed ***
- Cover the bowl and set aside in a warm place for an hour
- You will now do the first of the lift and folds where you take the edge of the dough, lift it up and bring it to the middle. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the lift and fold 25 times
- Cover and set aside, and repeat hourly up to four times more ****
- Cover and leave on the counter overnight
- Liberally dust a banneton
- Repeat the lift and fold process ten times and gently place the dough into the banneton
- Dust the top with flour and cover with a shower cap
- Place into the fridge to prove for at least 3 hours *****
- Remove the dough from the fridge
- Line your enamel baking tin with baking paper and place the opening of the tin over your dough
- Invert the tin, allowing the dough to tip into it
- Score the top of the dough with a sharp blade
- Place the lid onto the tin and place the tin into your cold oven
- Turn the oven on to 190° Celsius and set a timer for 60 minutes
- After an hour, remove the lid and leave to bake for a further 10 minutes
- Remove from the oven and tip the bread out, remove the baking paper and place onto a wire rack to cool, scored side up
- The longer you leave the bread to cool, the better, but it must stand for at least an hour before cutting
** How long it takes your starter to feed depends on the weather so be patient.
*** Your dough will be sticky!
**** This is time dependant but try do at least 2 more if you cannot get in all 4.
***** You can prove the bread for up to 24 hours
View the previous posts on February 23:
- 2022: Restaurant Blauw
- 2020: Blue Moon
- 2018: Brown Butter Hazelnut Financiers
- 2015: Coconut Cream Sorbet
- 2011: Anise