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  • So what we're going to do now is,

  • is we're going to show you how to make some sourdough bread.

  • Sourdough has got quite fashionable and trendy.

  • It's on a lot of restaurant menus.

  • Sourdough is trending since about 5000 B.C.

  • It's the oldest form of leavened bread.

  • So while we think we've a big tradition with soda bread,

  • your granny might have made it -

  • this is what her granny's granny used to make.

  • This is what we're all trying to get back to.

  • So the big revolution, the big future in food,

  • the future in bread, is about going back. Back to the past.

  • And this is what we're trying to get back to.

  • Beautiful, beautiful sourdoughs,

  • naturally fermented, with our seeded sourdough

  • a bit of malthouse.

  • As I say, you could have a hundred different types.

  • In order to make sourdough bread,

  • is to make your sourdough starter, or your sourdough culture.

  • The process is very, very simple.

  • It's simply just a mix of flour and water.

  • So we've got 50 grams of flour

  • and to that we're adding 50 mls of water.

  • Stir it together.

  • And that is simply it.

  • Now what we're going to do is to leave that to sit out

  • in your kitchen, just gently covered,

  • ambient temperature, overnight, for about 12 hours.

  • So at the moment, we're surrounded by wild yeast.

  • It's a good strain of bacteria, it exists everywhere.

  • You breathe it in everyday.

  • And then basically over a process

  • of using simply just flour and just water,

  • it eventually picks up that bacteria in the air.

  • And that bacteria starts to ferment. It starts to live off

  • the protein within the flour, so it starts to rise and collapse.

  • Realistically it takes about 7 or 10 days to make it.

  • But for a lot of people, I know,

  • I'm not making a loaf of bread if it takes 7 or 10 days to make it,

  • but the idea is, once you get up and going once,

  • that's virtually about it.

  • As long as you don't use it all, you'll never run out.

  • So you only have to do it one time in your life.

  • So we'll mix it together, flour and water.

  • About 12 hours later, it looks a little bit like this.

  • So at this stage, we would be due to mix this

  • with another 50 grams of flour and another 50 mls of water.

  • Stir it together and that's it.

  • Again, we let it sit overnight.

  • Day 3 we repeat the process.

  • Then on Day 4, we can already see

  • it's starting to become lovely and bubbly.

  • You can see all these little bubbles coming lovely and active.

  • And this is the sign of life starting to form.

  • This is exactly what we're looking for.

  • It's starting to ferment.

  • It's all the good things in life - wine, beer, cheese, bread.

  • All based on the same principle.

  • So you will find it starts to take on a sweet, vinegary kind of smell.

  • But don't worry, that's exactly what we're looking for.

  • But if you find a little liquid starting to come away from it,

  • don't worry about that either, just put it straight back in.

  • So we're going to give this another day.

  • And we're going to feed it again - one more time.

  • And by the time it's ready,

  • most likely on about Day 7.

  • Don't worry if you find that maybe,

  • on Day 6 or Day 7, it's not exactly there yet.

  • Don't be afraid to give it an extra day.

  • Because it will differ, depending on the environment it was kept in.

  • So if it needs an extra day, just give it an extra day.

  • But now we've got our lovely active sourdough.

  • It's got that lovely vinegary smell.

  • You can see it's been kind of rising up the glass.

  • This started about here earlier on and now it's climbed up to here.

  • So it'll continue to rise

  • and then it will drop back down.

  • So at this stage, it's basically ready to go.

  • Well, if I'm completely honest, this is Day 2.

  • This is Day 4.

  • And this is Year 9.

  • I've had this for 9 years.

  • So as long as I don't use it all, I'll never run out.

  • So all I'll simply do, for example after we make our bread today,

  • I will have 200 grams left over.

  • I will simply stir in 200 flour, 200 water,

  • and tomorrow, it's ready to go again.

  • Because I keep mine at room temperature,

  • I've to feed mine everyday.

  • But for the home-baker, who might only bake once a week,

  • or at weekends when you've a bit more time,

  • it can become quite an expensive pet to keep if you feed it every day.

  • So what you can simply do is keep yours in the fridge.

  • Because it's based on bacteria, cold won't kill it.

  • It'll just slow it down.

  • So for example, you're going to be baking on a Saturday morning.

  • Take it out of your fridge on a Friday, just leave it sit

  • in your kitchen to take the chill off it.

  • That evening, say whatever weight you have.

  • For example, 200 grams.

  • Stir in 200 flour, 200 water leave it sit in your kitchen.

  • Next morning it's going to be lovely and bubbly.

  • lovely and active, ready to make your bread.

  • Take what you need to make your bread,

  • whatever is left over, back in your fridge, that's it.

  • So you've a little once a week cycle.

  • You find it gets better with age - the flavour starts to develop.

  • So even if you're not baking,

  • you still have to feed it, because technically it is alive.

  • So if you're building up too much,

  • just bin some away, just keep back enough to keep it going.

  • And the easiest ratio to work off,

  • is whatever weight you have here,

  • same weight of flour, same weight of water.

  • Could not be simpler.

  • Now, in order to make our sourdough bread,

  • we've got our sourdough starter. As I say, it takes about a week.

  • Get it going today, you'll be ready by next weekend.

  • Ready to go, perfect to make your bread.

  • If not, you could always

  • get down to your local baker.

  • Most real bread bakeries will happily give you some starter.

  • If you check out realbreadireland.org

  • it's got all the real bread bakers across Ireland.

  • And most of them like myself, are happy to give you a little starter,

  • if you can't get your own going.

  • So with this one, we're going to make enough for two loaves.

  • The great thing about this is we can bake two loves.

  • We can pop one in the freezer and have one to try fresh in the day.

  • And sourdough comes back great from the freezer.

  • So we've get 800 grams of strong flour.

  • To this...

  • we're going to add 460 mls,

  • or 460 grams of water.

  • We're taking about 10 grams of salt.

  • Salt is an essential ingredient.

  • Salt acts as a natural flavour enhancer.

  • We've got our flour, we've got our water,

  • we've got our salt and then finally,

  • we just need a little bit of our sourdough starter.

  • So we're using 320 grams.

  • Just make sure we don't use it all.

  • Like you would any other recipe, just add your yeast straight in.

  • And in this case, our sourdough starter.

  • Once your ingredients are all in,

  • just start bringing everything together.

  • So once the dough roughly comes together,

  • just dump it,

  • straight out on the table.

  • The gluten forms once we add a liquid.

  • At the moment, the gluten is quite weak.

  • So we want to build up the strength of our dough,

  • by what we call kneading.

  • The idea of kneading is you simply stretch

  • and work the dough.

  • So you will find the dough goes a little bit wet

  • and a little bit sticky.

  • Generally everyone's reaction at home is to immediately

  • reach for some flour and keep adding in there.

  • But if you keep adding flour, the dough will quite happily soak it up.

  • And then the more it soaks it up, the heavier the dough becomes

  • and the tighter your bread will be.

  • So when it comes to kneading, you will get a lot of recipes

  • suggesting the best technique, how best to knead.

  • To be honest, the one piece of advice I give most people

  • is think about somebody you don't like, and just go for it!

  • So I tend to use the heel of my hand, a little short stretch,

  • and then use my fingers.

  • Just pin the dough between here and here and hook it back.

  • And if you can pick yourself up a little dough scraper,

  • absolutely great.

  • It's almost like a little extension of your hand.

  • Bring it all back together again and keep working away.

  • So most recipes will suggest how long to need for.

  • Most of them will say 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Most of them are lying, but the thing is,

  • it's very difficult for a recipe to be exact.

  • Because everybody is a little bit different.

  • Some people are just stronger than others, some days you're tired.

  • The dough will always tell you when it's ready.

  • There's a thing called the window-pane effect.

  • You can see it's getting elastic, it's getting there.

  • But as I stretch and work it out, it's just ripping, it's tearing.

  • And that's just the dough telling me it's not ready.

  • It just needs a little more work. So just keep on going.

  • And if you do have a mixer at home, feel free to use it.

  • The dough hook will do exactly the same thing as your hands are doing.

  • You're going to feel the dough starting to change.

  • You can even see already, how beautiful and silky

  • how lovely and smooth the dough has become.

  • Like you saw earlier, when we tested it initially,

  • it just kept ripping, it kept tearing. So we'll take a little oil

  • in your hands. It'll stop the dough from sticking to you.

  • And nice and gently stretch the dough, working it out.

  • You can see the shadows, the membrane behind it.

  • It's exactly what we're looking for.

  • So earlier, that just ripped and tore.

  • But now, that's holding. It's elastic.

  • It's got the strength we need, that's exactly what we're looking for.

  • So bring your dough back together.

  • Back into one piece. Into your bowl.

  • And now I'm going to let it prove.

  • With sourdough however, because it's a more natural process,

  • everything tends to happen much, much slower.

  • So where most yeast recipes need to prove for about an hour,

  • this one, we're going to be looking at about three hours.

  • So you need to leave it plenty of time.

  • So we're going to let this prove for three hours.

  • So when you come back to it,

  • you'll be looking at something like this.

  • What we'll be doing now, is we're simply knocking our dough back.

  • Because as much as we say the longer you prove it the better,

  • you don't want to over-prove your bread.

  • Simply take it out of your bowl

  • and try and make it into a round ball.

  • And again, don't over-think it.

  • By making it into a ball, you'll have simply

  • knocked it back knocked all the air from it.

  • So you're kind of back to where you would have been three hours ago.

  • So now, what we need to do at this stage,

  • is we need to shape our dough.

  • So with the quantity we made, it gives us the perfect portion

  • to make two lovely sized loaves.

  • So when we're shaping our breads, we use proving baskets.

  • Because it's going to be proving for another three hours,

  • it would just slowly start to prove out,

  • and go very, very flat.

  • So by using the basket, it gives the dough support.

  • It encourages it to take on that shape, so instead of proving out,

  • it proves up. But if you don't have a basket,

  • you could use absolutely anything.

  • A tin, a tray, a box, a bowl.

  • It's simply something that's going to support and help your dough out.

  • And probably, I'm sure all of us have...

  • a Pyrex dish at home.

  • If you don't have it, your mum has, your gran has.

  • They're always kicking around everywhere.

  • We take a little flour and dust it all over.

  • Coating it with a little coating of flour,

  • will stop the dough from sticking.