Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Whissendine Windmill White Sourdough

When it comes to flour I tend to use what is available. My local supermarket stocks Bacheldre mill flour - rye and wholemeal - and Dove Farm's Malthouse flour. However I have to go to Chesterfield to find a good white stone-ground flour. I have been using this Whissendine Mill flour on and off for the past year and it makes a tasty bread.

Sunday morning and folding my dough for a white loaf which I intended to bake in my newly acquired enameled cast iron pot.

I used my trusty River Cottage sponge method but when it came to baking I turned the loaves out on to baking parchment and lowered them into the preheated pan and placed in the oven turned up high. I baked for about 30 minutes with the lid on, then 25 mins with it off. I did not slash the dough which may have been a mistake, as I was following the sugestion in Ken Forkish's book to allow the loaves to split in a rustic fashion (but not using his recipe which was a higher hydration!)

The breads came out well, not as dark as I expected considering I baked them longer and at a high temp. The crust was nice but not spectacular. However, I liked using the pot and plan to try some of the recipes in Forkish's book. I like the simplicity of his flour, water, yeast and salt recipes. And I would like to understand more about the science of baking a loaf.

The bread tastes great!


  1. Looks good! Did you find the crust was thinner baking in the pot? I noticed that when I did it a couple of times before. I find it quite hard physically to load a big heavy hot pot with proved dough, so I haven't done it very often. I also noticed that the sides of the pot of course contained the dough (maybe I had a bigger amount in my pot relative to the size of the pot?) and the dough sprang furiously upwards. I find the whole process of pot baking quite complicated. Farine writes about putting the bread in a cold pot in the oven and gets good results. Must bake something this weekend, all best to you and Sue!

  2. Got a nice crust, not sure whether it was thinner but am doing Dan's Mill loaf tonight so will see how this compares to my old method.

    The Forkish book talks about the sides of the pot supporting the oven rise of the dough, though he also says that you can use an oversized pot but the loaf will be flatter but still tasty.

    I am wary of the pot, heavy and extremely hot, but I think it's just because its just a new set of actions to get the bread in safely. I use baking parchment squares which makes the transfer of the dough into the pan much easier.