I mentioned doing this Pan Rustico recipe as a step going towards sourdough. I sometimes just want to make Pan Rustico instead of sourdough because it’s faster – bakes on the same day, instead of the next – and it smells and tastes so darn good.
But I decided to use my sourdough starter to make it healthier and just because I already had the starter, why use more yeast if I already have starters – #carrieBREADshaw & #emilioYEASTevezwere ready to go – why make more?
My gread guru Det of Not So Jewish Bakery, said this means I’ve successfully converted a yeasted recipe into sourdough. I was so amazed! This is awesome. So though I didn’t do this perfectly and my folding and shaping needs work, I want to share it with you guys and also so I can repeat the process. I’ve included more of the tips that I learned from Det too.
This is how I made it using a recipe was adapted from The BBC:
- Sourdough starter 275mg (if you don’t have this use a yeasted starter & follow this recipe instead)
- 200ml warm filtered water
- 1 tsp caster sugar (we grind normal sugar with mortar & pestle if we don’t have any)
- 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 325g/8oz white bread flour or all-purpose flour if that’s what you have, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- Solid work surface (wood or stone)
- Clean food-safe spray with drinking water
- Clean tea towel
- Feed your starter earlier in the day or the night before to have enough when it’s time to bake.
- Stir in the sugar with the water. Lightly stir in yeast & leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until beige foam floats on the surface.
- In a large bowl, stir flour and salt to mix well.
- Then make a well in the centre and add the starter, yeast and water mixture and the oil.
- Mix with a wooden/plastic spoon and then, if needed, with your hands until mixture comes together, forming a slightly lumpy and sticky dough.
- OPTIONAL: If the dough feels a little dry, add another tablespoon or two of water.
- Spray the clean work surface with water, be generous and cover a large area because you will be kneading the dough and stretching it forward.
- Spray your hands and scraper (use a bowl scraper or bench scraper)
- Transfer the dough to the surface. I usually just invert the bowl and let it plop down.
10. Knead for a good 13 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. You should feel the dough change in texture as you work, so don’t be afraid to be fairly robust with your stretching and folding. This video has really helped me:
- Put the dough in an oiled mixing bowl, cover it with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise for around an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Oil the baking tray.
- Clean and dry the work surface, then generously dust with flour.
- Loosen the dough with a spatula and tip it onto the surface.
- Use the tip of your fingers all over to stretch it a little, then use a scraper to cut it in half.
- Fold each one to create tension using this YouTube video below as a guide.
- Cover with a tea towel and let it rest for 10mins.
- Then shape each one into a loaf. For #16-18 I follow this video, minus the putting it into a tin.
- Dust the roll with flour all over – top, bottom and all the sides – like the video said and place it seam side down on the oiled tray.
- Using a sharp knife, score a few times on top.
- Cover with the tea towel & leave to prove in a warm place for 45–60 minutes or until it has risen again and feels light and puffy. I used 45 mins because my kitchen is very warm.
- Remember to reheat the oven to 240C/450F 3mins before your timer sounds.
- After putting in the loaves, spray with water or place water in a tray underneath to steam it a bit.
- Bake the loaf for around 20 minutes or until golden-brown and crusty. The base should sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
I thought I burnt it a little, but the crust turned out perfectly rustic and tasty. This bread smells the best among all the breads I’ve bakes and smells almost of yummy burnt cheese.
The inside is oh-so-soft so be very careful cutting into it. Use a sharp high quality bread knife to avoid butchering your hard work.
The original recipe calls for just one loaf but it’s so huge that I prefer to split it. This way we can share it with others. My extra loaf is going to my Spanish MIL who is diabetic and loves sourdough bread. I hope she loves this Spanish-style rustic bread that I made because there is very little sugar in it.
- Split into 2 for easy storage or easy sharing.
- If you are eating immediately store at room temp.
- If you are eating within the week, refrigerate.
- If you want to keep some long term, freeze.
- Pre-slice before freezing so that you don’t need to defrost the whole bread when you want to make a sandwich.
- Toast before eating so the crust is crunch again.
If you have never baked bread, I suggest you work up to it and start with the Olive Oil Bread Recipe that I mentioned here.
Sourdough is good for your gut health and is said to be okay in small quantities for gluten-intolerant because the gluten is digested by the long process. If you want the benefits without the long process, support small businesses ! Below are my favorite sourdough bakers that you can order from: