Trine Hahnemann’s Sourdough Bread

Trine Hahnemann's Sourdough Bread

Make your next batch of sourdough with a Scandinavian edge thanks to Trine Hahnemann’s recipe

“I like sourdough bread, but it is not my favourite home-baked loaf. I think it can be difficult to get it right when you’re lacking an industrial oven with integral steam and a lot of power! Don’t get me wrong: this recipe makes an excellent sourdough loaf.

But it will not be the same as the sourdough loaves you buy from artisan bakers. They can perfect their loaves, working hard to get every stage of the process exactly right.

I don’t think home baking is about that; leave it to the professionals! This is my basic sourdough. It is mostly wheat flour, but you can easily play around and add spelt or einkorn flours to the recipe.”

For the sourdough biga/leaven:
• 150g strong white bread flour
• 100g strong wholemeal bread flour
• 300ml water

For the bread:
• 150g sourdough biga/ leaven, from above
• 350ml water
• 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
• 100g strong wholemeal bread flour
• 8g sea salt

For the sourdough biga/leaven:
1 Put both flours into a large mixing bowl. Gradually pour in the water, mixing with your hand or a balloon whisk until it has the consistency of pancake batter.
2 Cover with a plate or similar and leave overnight. The next day, discard 80% of the mixture and top it up with the same ratio of flours and water to make up for the amount discarded. Mix well.
3 Do this for 5–10 days until it comes to life: you will notice small bubbles, or a sour smell, and then it’s ready.

For the bread:
1 Mix the 150g biga/leaven with 300ml cups of the water and both flours and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
2 Then add the remaining 50m water and the salt, mix really well again and knead the dough in the bowl. Leave to rise for 3–6 hours, punching it down now and then and giving the dough a turn.
3 Take the dough out onto a floured surface and form it into a round loaf. Line a proving basket 25cm in diameter with a clean tea towel and dust with flour.
4 Add the formed dough to the basket, cover with a tea towel and leave for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the dough has more or less risen to the rim of the basket.
5 Preheat the oven to 250°C and place a heatproof bowl filled with water in the base of the oven, to create steam (or you can toss some cold water into the oven as you put the bread in).
6 Gently turn the risen dough out onto either a baking sheet lined with baking parchment or place the dough on a large baking or pizza stone using a wide, wooden pizza spatula.
7 Slash the top of the loaf to make a cross using a razor or very sharp knife. Bake for 45–55 minutes, turning down the temperature after 15 minutes to 220°C. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe courtesy of Trine Hahnemann, extracted from Scandinavian Comfort Food. Photography by Columbus Leth © Quadrille

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