Making Sourdough with Stoneground wholemeal flour from Woodbridge Tidemill

imageI had heard that you can get stoneground flour milled at the Woodbridge Tidemill, so we went on an expedition to see if we could get hold of some.

It was a lovely bright day and when we got there we did a tour of the Mill.   I believe this is one of only two tidal mills left in the UK . The earliest record of a tidemill on this site was in 1170, and it has been operating for over 800 years. It has recently been fully restored  as a living museum and  they mill twice a day, producing  their 100 % traditional stone ground wholemeal flour. Check out their website (www.woodbridgetidemill.org.uk)

stoneground mill flour

Below is a picture of the internal workings of the mill

workings of mill

I recommend going round the back of the mill and standing on the deck to look out on to the glorious Deben

deben back of millback of mill near waterwheel

As soon as  I  was home and I got going with a Sourdough loaf with my lovely stoneground flour. Whole grains need special handling to produce great flavour and texture, with a longer autolyse stage than ususal. (This is the stage when you mix the sourdough with the water and flour, before adding the salt)   This gives the  wholegrain flour a really good opportunity to start breaking down during the fermentation process, before adding the salt and the rest of the flour. The inspiration for this method comes from the wonderful Chad Robertson’s latest Tartine book  ‘Book No.3 Modern Ancient Classic Whole’

Ingredients

2 cups wholegrain flour
1 cup strong white bread flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tblspn refreshed starter ( I used white starter, see previous blogs for how to make this)
1 1/4 tsp salt

Method

1. Mix together the starter with the water and make sure the starter is fairly evenly distributed

2. Add 2 cups of the wholegrain flour, cover with cling film or shower cap and leave overnight

dough fermented

It should look nice and bubbly by the morning

3. Stir the salt into the white flour and add to the sourdough mixture, mixing until all the flour is hydrated and cover again.

4. Leave it in a warm place – here’s mine on the mantelpiece above the fireplace.

dough rising above fireplace

5. With a spoon fold 3 times after half an hour. (see previous blogs for details) and repeat every half hour for 3 hours. If you need to go out and can’t do these extra folds, that’s ok- it’ll just take a bit longer

6. After about 3 or 4 hours it should have become spongey and billowy.

7. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and stretch and fold and shape it into a round loaf shape (see previous blogs for details)

8.Flour your dough and place it either in a floured banneton basket or wrap it in a tea towel

9.. Heat the oven to 240 degrees F. with a medium or large Le Creuset pot inside, for 1/2 hour

10. Gently put your dough into the preheated pot and slash with a sharp knife. ( I slashed with a square shape)

11. Bake for 1/2 hour with the lid on and then 15 mins at 200 degrees, with the lid off

sourdough bread

Makes great toast!

lovley toast

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