Friday, 10 May 2013

Khorasan sourdough with golden sultanas & yogurt

I have been considering the popularity of my caramelised onion and cheese bread; readers of my blog will know that in general I tend to avoid adding ingredients to the flour, water salt and yeast (wild or otherwise) that makes up my everyday bread. If I follow this tack of course the recipes are going to grind to a halt. With this in mind I have been trying to create new recipes, this is one I came up with using the Khorasan flour I found on sale the other day. Soaking the golden sultanas not only brings them back to the plump fruits that far closer resemble the grapes they once were, but makes blending them easier.

For this bread you will need,
for the ferment,
1 tablespoon of starter from the fridge
150g of strong white flour
50g of rye flour
200g of water

For the main dough,
All of the ferment
100g of golden sultanas
300g of Khorasan flour
600g of strong white flour
130g of Greek yogurt
400g of water
18g of salt

Begin by soaking the sultanas in 200g of freshly boiled water, set to one side. Make the ferment by mixing the ingredients and leaving in a bowl, covered for as long as it takes for the ferment to show signs of vigorous growth. At this time of year this means 6 to 8 hours in my cool kitchen whereas in the winter it can take up to 24 hours in my seriously chilly kitchen. To this day a warm kitchen is something I never know. The signs to watch out for are not only lots of bubbles on the surface but creases where the bubbles are collapsing back on themselves, click here for a photo.
Blend the soaked sultanas along with another 200g of water and the yogurt until you have a smooth liquid. Add this along with the flours and the ferment and mix to form quite a smooth dough. Leave to rise overnight. In the morning add the salt and mix on a medium setting for 3 to 4 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl or plastic box cover and set aside to rise. Stretch and fold the dough every hour for 3 to 4 hours before dividing into 2 and shaping into 2 loaves. Leave the loaves for a final rise, at least a couple of hours, then bake in a hot 220C oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

This dough was made using less water than I usually use, I wanted to see how the khorasan flour behaved and I find it's always better to be on the safe side and avoid very wet doughs. The texture as a result, although light and tender, has a more even crumb than I am used to, not the irregular sized holes, which trap extra butter through no fault of their own, of a more standard sourdough. The flavour however is exceptionally good, just the right amount of background sweetness which comes in at the end. I shall continue to experiment with this flour but I will return to this recipe again and again.
It should make excellent toast.


  1. Scrumptious looking as usual Tobi and something that I aspire to working my way up to :)

  2. Hello again, always good to hear from you and thank you for your kind comment. The flavour of this bread reminds me of the very first sourdough loaf I made, the result of what seemed like a very long process nearly 30 years ago now, it had a heightened sourness but still retained subtlety and a tantalising delicate sweetness. This bread has both those and was so much simpler to make. I am almost certain it would be worth trying this with a commercial yeast using a sponge method over a 24 hour period in order to maximise flavour. Happy baking, Tôbi

  3. The photos are so beautiful! I'd love to try this recipe even though I'm not that good at baking :P

    1. Hello and thank you for your comment, I would certainly encourage you to try baking this bread or a recent recipe for sourdough with gruel, both are really delicious. Getting good at handling dough and baking using commercial yeast is always good practise before embarking on the slightly more temperamental sourdough, happy baking and do keep in touch, best wishes Tôbi.