PUBLISHED: 07:46 15 May 2014
It’s one of the purest breads you can make
Andy Wilcock, executive chef for school catering company Cucina Restaurants, works closely with chefs in Kent at The Milestone Academy, The Wilmington Academy, Longfield Academy, Leigh Technology College and Bexleyheath School.
And like that famous Kent baker Paul Hollywood, he’s passionate about bread.
Andy explains: “It’s possibly not that widely known, but most of the mass-produced bread in this country contains processing aids and these ‘improvers,’ ‘conditioners’ and ‘preservatives’ are really not so great for us; we’d be better off not eating them.
“That’s one reason why our school chefs like to bake bread in their school kitchens. It works out more expensive than buying bread in, but this way they have much more control over the quality of the bread they serve and can also teach students about bread and encourage them to bake it at home.”
Andy’s easy sourdough
● The first thing you need to do is create a ‘sourdough starter’ which you will then use in every loaf you bake.
● Just whisk quarter of a cup of flour with three tablespoons of filtered water in a bowl. When it gets to a thick-ish consistency, like paint, pour it into a jar, put it in the fridge and leave it for 12 hours.
● Then ‘feed’ your starter each 12 hours and for a week afterwards. To do this, whisk in quarter of a cup of flour with one third of a cup of water, then tip some out so that the jar will only ever be half full.
● After a few days you should notice it bubbling – that’s the wild yeast at work.
● You will find a lot of great sourdough recipes online to use your starter with, but because of your special yeast, there will never be any bread quite like yours.
● Try adding herbs, vegetables and even fruits, to create your own special loaves.