Keep Frank (our starter is named Frank) in the fridge when not in use, and feed once a week or 12hrs prior to making a loaf. If you are not making bread that week, remove half of Frank and put in bin, and then feed and place back in fridge.
Feeding Frank: mix equal parts of normal white flour and water to make up 300g + of starter for one loaf of bread. Approx. cup of flour and water, and mix together.
Leave in a warm place for 12hrs prior to making loaf, and Frank should activate and become bubbly and frothy with a sour smell (airtight container will contain the smell).
300g Frank Jnr in an active state
Tablespoon of vegetable/sunflower oil
660g Flour (any combination, but we find a mix with min 30% white and any other options – wholemeal, rye (dark/light), swiss brown, spelt etc,). If adding seeds, these get added on top of the 660g as they do not absorb the water and the texture won’t be right.
Semolina for dusting
36hrs before baking – Take Frank from fridge, feed and leave in warm place
24hrs before baking – Mix all ingredients above in a bowl into a sticky mess with all the dry flour incorporated. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place (this process is called rising).
12hrs before baking – Prepare a colander with a tea towel that has been quite heavily dusted with semolina. Fold mixture in half four times (rotate bowl 90 degrees each time) and transfer into the dusted tea towel. Dust top of sticky mixture and cover with the edges of the tea towel and place in the fridge (this process is called retarding).
Action time – Set oven to maximum. Use baking stone/tile or baking tray and heat up in the oven. Remove loaf from fridge and allow to get to room temperature. When the oven is at maximum, get pizza/bread slide and dust with semolina, and up turn the loaf onto the slide. Quickly rotate the loaf to ensure that it isn’t sticking, and cut a cross or similar with sharp bread knife in the top. Cover with a metal bowl (or use a tray with water in the bottom of the oven to produce moisture in the air), and bake for 35mins. Use slide to remove after 35mins and remove metal bowl or remove tray with water. Reduce to 240 degrees C and then bake for another 15mins. Then use slide to rotate bread once more, reduce to 220 degrees and bake for a final 15mins.
Remove loaf from oven, and rest on rack until cool.