The Ultimate MOB Guide To Sourdough
Sourdough is having a bit of a moment in the UK, and rightly so. There is something incredibly satisfying about taking two simple ingredients — flour and water — and turning them into beautiful tangy loaves with a bouncy crust and chewy crumb.
But the whole process remains a bit of a mystery to many people, who see it as difficult and time-consuming.
This is because a language has built up around sourdough that has the effect of making it seem inaccessible. Mother? Levain? Hydration? Autolysing? Recipes around it often seem to be written for bakers with lots of experience.
The truth is that baking sourdough bread can be fairly straightforward and very rewarding. That’s why MOB has created a clear, simple, easy-to-follow sourdough guide sourdough designed for people who haven’t baked with it before. We’ll explain everything you need to know to get started — how it differs from normal bread, how to create a sourdough starter, and how to look after it, along with a bunch of recipes designed for beginners.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll realise that it isn’t too time-consuming. It often takes a day to bake a sourdough recipe from start to finish, but for most of the time, it’s sitting in a bowl, requiring very little of you. What’s more, once you get used to the rhythm of sourdough baking — kneading it for a while in the evening, for example, then letting it rise overnight and baking it first thing in the morning — you’ll find that the whole routine fits very neatly into your day.
We’ve designed these recipes so you don’t need too much specialist equipment, but you will need to buy some digital scales if you don’t already have them. A good set costs less than £10 from Amazon. All of our recipes are designed with simplicity in mind so you gain the confidence to start baking sourdough with consistent results. When you’ve made things like the focaccia, or the cheat’s tin loaf, you might feel ready to try and make the overnight sourdough loaf, which requires a little more work.
P.S. The other thing that is often confusing about sourdough recipes is the timing because the whole process can be stretched out for about 24 hours, so we’ve included a sample schedule at the bottom of the longer ones.