I love the slightly sour-tang you get from a really good sourdough. This loaf is dense and chewy- which makes it perfect for toast. I make my sourdough using a sponge starter. I have tried many different ways of making this delicious loaf, but the sponge starter is the only one that has really worked for me, so I have stuck with it.
For the sponge starter:
150ml active sourdough starter (click here to learn how to make it)
250g rye flour
For the loaf:
250g strong white flour
50-100ml water (this will depend on your flour)
Make the sponge by mixing the starter, rye flour and water together in a large bowl.
Cover the mixture and leave for at least 8 hours at an ambient temperature.
When the sponge is ready (it will have lots of tiny bubbles on top and maybe be a little foamy) add in the strong flour, salt and water. Mix until it forms a dough (adding more water if it feels dry).
Cover and leave to rise for another 6-8 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, shape into your desired loaf and place onto a baking tray.
Cover and leave to rise again, for at least a couple of hours, or until it has risen by half.
Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees C.
When the loaf has risen, cut a slit in the top and dust with a little flour.
Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the base sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool on a wire rack before serving.