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I wibbled about baking the sourdough yesterday – by the time that it was almost ready to bake there was no way to fit in a meal that would enable us to try it fresh, so I popped the proving baskets into a very cold room and got them out first thing this morning.

The good news was that both loaves had nicely risen to the basket rim. The bad news was that I probably did not add enough flour to the cane basket, the dough clung on quite tightly and had to be persuaded onto a baking tray. I also think that I should have got them closer to room temperature before popping them in the oven.

We tackled one loaf for an early lunch, with some Wensleydale and some honey-roast ham.The bread is very flavoursome and has a really good crust. It is far more sour than I had expected and tastes positively yoghourty. I could tell at a glance that Mr L was not sure about it. I suggested adding the sweetness of chutney, which he did and I tried it too. We both agreed that it brought balance and made the bread more enjoyable.

Overall, the jury remains out. I think it is a taste that must be acquired. It is worth trying other flours and other sough dough methods – I’ll be doing Richard Bertinet’s next, as I think that the addition of honey will produce a loaf closer to Mr L’s tastes. Me? I think that I could grow to like this one very much. One point that I did make was that it could be a dieter’s friend. The bread has so much flavour that I found it deeply satisfying, almost like hard work to eat it,  and think I’ll be far less likely to eat more of it than is good for me. I love the crust —  and the crunchy hemp seeds in the crumb.

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