Sunday 18 June 2017

Sourdough hybrid olive oil bread

I meant to make sourdough bread this weekend.  I forgot.  Some days it feels like my sourdough starter is just hanging in there.  (Actually I made amazing brussel sprouts, red capsicum, green olive and goats cheese pizza with it on Friday but the starter still needs another feed desperately.)  So I keep searching for easy way to use up the bread.  In this case, easy means that I don't need to take 12-16 hours to make a loaf of bread.

I really love my fast track pizza dough that uses a combination of sourdough (for taste) and commercial dried yeast (for fast rising).  So I have been interested in trying one of my favourite regular yeasted breads with some sourdough.  I made it on a Sunday morning recently before we went to the Cat Cafe.  It still didn't seem that quick but at least it can work on a day when I want bread but forget to start it with sourdough the night before.

Here is a step by step photo collage of the process.  In making the olive oil bread without sourdough, I found 30 minutes long enough for it to double in size.  With sourdough I had to wait 60 minutes.  I am not sure if that is because I reduced the dried yeast or because it is winter and dough generally takes longer to rise.  You might think there are three photos that are the same in the collage.  However that is showing how little difference there is because a) when the loaf first doubled in size, b) when I punched it down and kneaded it briefly, and c) when it rose for 30 minutes.  The end rise was light enough that this similarity seemed ok.

I was happy with the loaf but it needed some sort of slashing.  I have got better at slashing the free form loaves on trays but am not sure how to slash when in a tin.  However I can see that the side was straining without the slash.  It made it very easy for Sylvia to break off a bit of the crust.

As we were headed out to the Cat Cafe, I didn't have the luxury of waiting for the bread to cool for an hour and eating it warm.  I meant to leave it, but once one naughty small child grabbed a chunk from the loaf, I caved in and we all had a piece before we left.  It was good but you can see in the above pic that the crumb was a bit moist because the bread cooks after it comes out of the oven.

This photo shows what the crumb should look like if one has more patience than I showed.  It was a lovely bread.  However I found the crumb quite close compared to the sourdough loaves I am used to baking with far more open crumb.  Despite this, I am sure I will return to this loaf when I need to bake bread and use up sourdough starter but don't have time to wait for my usual sourdough loaves.

More quick ways to use sourdough starter on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Celia's overnight sourdough bread  (v)
Fast track sourdough pizza bases (v)
Kale sourdough tortillas (v)
Sourdough toss-off flatbreads (v)
Spelt sourdough flatbreads (v) 

Sourdough hybrid olive oil bread
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Makes 1 loaf

400g starter
200ml lukewarm water
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
400g white bread flour
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
extra flour for kneading

1. Mix yeast, sourdough starter, chia seeds and warm water in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in flour to make a dry shaggy dough.  Leave for 10 minutes. 

2. Add olive oil and salt.  Stir to combine as much as possible.  It is not easy to add the oil and salt  but once you start kneading, it comes together beautifully.  Knead on a lightly floured board for about 10 minutes until you have a soft dough.

3. Scrape out the mixing bowl to clean it as much as possible before placing dough ball inside.  Cover with teatowel.  Rise for 30-60 minutes until about doubled in size.

4. Punch down and lightly knead for about a few seconds.  Return it to the bowl and cover with the damp teatowel and rise another 30 minutes.

5. Knead briefly and either place on a greased tray or place in a greased bread tin.  I do the latter (my bread tin in 25cm x 9cm and about 10cm high).  I cut it in half, roughly knead each half into a neat ball and then press the two halves of the dough into the tray so they fill out the corners and are flat on top.  Cover with teatowel and leave to rise about two thirds (usually about 30 minutes).  Mine gets to about an inch from the top of the tin but rises to the top once baked.

6. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 240 C.  To steam the oven I sprayed in the oven once the loaf was in.  Bake bread for about 25-30 minutes or until dough is a deep golden brown and hollow when knocked.  (Mine took 25 minutes.)  The crust might seem quite crusty when it is first out of the oven but once it cools it will soften and be full of flavour.

7. Tip loaf out of tin (or off the tray) and cool on a wire rack.  Leave for at least an hour, and more if possible, before cutting the first slice.  Lasts well for a few days.

Note: this bread takes about 2 and 1/2 hours to 3 hours to make and then another hour or so to sit before cutting.  

On the Stereo:
I Love Paris: 18 sensuous French classes: Various Artists


  1. You seem so disciplined in connecting to your sourdough. People say it's more like having a pet than like an ingredient, and you convince me of this -- though it could be that it's just more like a house plant than like an ingredient.

    Maybe there should be a sourdough cafe along the lines of your cat cafe, where you get to know various starters? (I don't like cats enough for your cat cafe to appeal to me).

    best.... mae at

    1. Thanks Mae - I don't feel very disciplined with my sourdough but haven't created it I do feel protective of it. I love your idea of a sourdough cafe with different starters - would be there with much more enthusiasm than a cat cafe :-)

  2. I suspect you were quietly glad Sylvia snuck a chunk so you could too ;) I always admire your bread baking efforts, and this is true here too.

    1. Thanks Kari - my self resolve was not strong enough to resist Sylvia's intervention (which is my way of saying yes but trying not to admit it)

  3. Looks like a lovely loaf. I like a bit of variety with bread so it's good to try one with a different crumb.

  4. What a beautiful loaf - it looks so tempting.


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