Israeli-born baker Michael Cthurmer was once labeled grumpy by his wife Deborah – and the name stuck. Nonetheless with a bakery, a childrens party-business and a licensed restaurant, the pair behind The Grumpy Baker actually have a lot to smile about.
WHAT YOU NEED
Sourdough Culture: 400g
Strong Bakers Flour: 800g
Fresh whole garlic cloves: 15
Pitted kalamata olives: 120g
Drop of oil
Pinch of salt
This must be prepared five to seven days in advance. The longer it sits the better it tastes.
Strong bakers flour
Lukewarm water (25-27°C)
WHAT TO DO
Catch the wild yeast: Mix 40g flour and 50ml water in a mixer until smooth and consistent and cover with a cloth. Place in a warm place with plenty of fresh air (not in direct sunlight);
Refresh the culture: Beat the mix slightly with a clean spoon, cover back with the cloth;
Day 3 and 4
Feed the culture: Mix 50ml water into the culture until runny then add 45g flour and mix until smooth and consistent again, cover and leave for a day then repeat;
Strengthen the culture: Spill out half of the culture then mix again like before but with 115ml water and 100g flour, repeat every 12 hours for a day or two; andend of first week: Use the culture as needed and mix again with 115ml water and 100g flour. To keep alive from this point on mix again at least once a day if not used.
For the roasting:
Add all ingredients with the exception of olives, to a tray and to the oven on 180°C until caramelised to golden brown colour. Take out then add the olives and let it get to room temperature.
For the dough:
Put flour, salt and culture together on a clean surface. Make a well in the middle and pour the water in the middle, mix slowly until combined then knead until smooth and firm;
Drain the garlic and olive lightly from the excess liquids and once reach room temp add to the dough, mix gently without smashing the cloves until evenly spread through the dough;
Cover with a damp cloth and rest for four hours;Cut into two even pieces and rest for another 30 minutes;
Dust a tray with a thin layer of flour;
Shape gently without beating too hard into a rustic rectangle (about 8cm X 24cm);
Pre-heat oven to 230°C;
Rest for another hour in a warm temp (33-39°C) or until ready, to check when ready press gently on the loaf and if a gentle print is left without coming back up it’s time;
Turn over the loaves gently without collapsing the bread;
Bake for 35-45 minutes on 205°C until crust becomes dark gold; and
To final check tap on the bottom of the loaf to get a hollow sound.