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Baking the perfect sourdough

Autumn is the perfect time to hunker down and bake bread - and thanks a lesson from private chef Laura Scott, Muddy has nailed the perfect loaf.

The intro

Ever wanted to make the perfect sourdough? Laura Scott is a private chef, supper club host, cookery tutor, blogger and sourdough guru. She welcomed Muddy into her beautiful home to find out the secrets to the perfect loaf. We were warmly greeted with a slice of delicious homemade banana bread and coffee.

The small class of seven were made up of people with a mixture of culinary experience. Attempting to follow a sourdough recipe can be overwhelming with its various stages and lengthy process – but Laura’s demonstrations and simple notes break down every step of the process so that you can feel confident when transferring what you’ve learnt to the home. With Laura’s enthusiasm for sourdough making, it’s hard not to feel inspired to run home and start baking.

The demo

It turns out that the making of sourdough is pretty scientific. The starter mixture needs tending to more like a pet than a cooking ingredient, with a daily feed of flour and water. Laura showed us how to make the sourdough starter for stretching, folding, cooking and scoring. Dishing out lots of useful tips along the way, we learnt how to bake sourdough and focaccia which can be made with the same starter. You can then add any toppings to these, including olives, garlic and seeds. One of the main things I learnt was that baking sourdough is a technical bake and in order to create the perfect loaf, practice makes perfect!

The lunch

Once the tutorial had finished we got to reap the benefits of Laura’s sourdough finesse and sat down to enjoy an impressively delicious lunch. We were served pea, courgette and mint soup to dip our newly baked sourdough and focaccia bread in. The table consisted of a beautiful spread of local produce of cheese, fruit, jams and salads. We also enjoyed a couple of glasses of local wine from the Denbies Estate.

The verdict

Good for: Those that want to spend an enjoyable morning learning the art of sourdough making and to gain confidence in their home baking skills.

Not for: Those that have really busy schedules, as baking sourdough is time consuming and requires a fair degree of commitment.

Laura’s sourdough demos are £50 pp, which includes lunch. Visit her website to find out more about her upcoming sourdough demos

Words: Alice Ridsdale

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