I love to bake Pandoro, but in the busy Christmas time I do not always find the time to prepare the time consuming Sweet Starter. But this year I had enough time for it during the holidays. A Sweet Starter is an extremly active sourdough which is prepared by feeding a sourdough every four hours and keeping it on 30°C. This shifts the sourdough to the yeasty side and creates a sweet tasting sourdough with only hints of yoghurt flavour. And it makes the starter very strong, and so my starter was finally able to double its size in two hours. Such an active starter is a very nice thing and so I decided to increase the amount during feeding until I could use a part of it to start a preferment for a bread. I mixed the preferment in the morning and after four hours the sourdough more then tripled it size and was ready to use. And so I mixed a dough, fermeted it for three hours and then I proofed the shaped loaves overnight in the fridge.
The next morning I heated the baking stone together with an oven proof pot, because I decided that it would be the perfect recipe for this month’ Bread Baking Day. My way to bake a bread in a pot is just a little bit different from the normal way. I bake the bread on the stone like always, but cover the bread with a hot pot. This traps the steam which evaporate from the loaf as good as a dutch oven, but I do not run into problems like burned hands when trying to get the loaf into the dutch oven… And I can easily remove the pot after half of the baking time to get a crunchier crust, too. After all, I like the bread very much. It has a mild but complex taste and a thick crisp crust. A perfect hearty treat after all the Christmas sweets!
Countrybread with sweet Starter
yields 2 Breads Sourdough
- 100g sweet starter, or a very active sourdough
- 100g flour type 550
- 50g Water
- 200g whole spelt flour
- 600g flour Type 550
- 580g water
- 20g Salt
Mix all ingredients for the sourdough and ferment for 4 hour at 30°C, until the volume doubled at least. The next morning knead all ingredients 5 min at the slowest speed and 8 min at higher speed until medium gluten development. Let rise for 3 hours Divide the dough into two parts. Shape into round loaves and place them in well floured bread forms, with the seam side down. Proof overnight in the fridge. The next morning heat an oven proof pot together with your bread baking stone for about 1 hour at 250°C. Remove the pot from the stone, transfer the bread on the stone and cover the loaf with the pot. Bake for 25 min at 250°C, then remove the pot and bake for another 20-25 min uncovered on convection mode for an extra crisp crust. For the second bread, reheat the pot in the oven for about 15 min, then bake the second bread like the first one. I sent this entry to Yeastspotting, Susans weekly showcase of yeast baked good.