For those of you who will be enjoying a loaf or two this week, here are some tips that you may find useful:-
There are many ways to use your loaf without wasting a crumb! Apart from the obligatory sandwich, here are some alternative suggestions for you. I like toast slathered in butter, peanut butter, salad leaves adorned with capers and drizzled with oil. beware, that y genuine sourdough won’t brown as much as “other” loaves, owing to the fact it contains no additional additives, fat or sugar, but you can get it deliciously crunchy. Use the ends for dipping in soup and scooping up hummus and into baked cheeses; use cubes in salads, such as Panzanella; or fry breadcrumbs with garlic, herbs and lemon zest for a speedy pasta supper.
Allow your loaf to cool completely before slicing – this could take a few hours, so apologies for the tantalising aroma whilst you wait! Store in the brown bag in the bread bin. To further preserve the crust and prevent it drying out, put the bread it inside a loosely fitted plastic bag. In a cool environment (not fridge) it should last a week. Alternatively, wrap with an environmentally friendly beeswax wrap, also available from Seasons Fruit & Veg, as well as my bread!
Freezing & thawing:
Wait at least 12 hours to let the moisture equalise, then place it within the brown bag, in another freezer-proof bag and seal tightly. Pre-slice if preferred. Defrost whole loaf on the counter for 4-5 hours (or overnight) or take out slices and cover for about an hour. Alternatively, just pop slices into the toaster. The crust will become deliciously chewy after freezing and will last a good week. Keep it in the brown bag and loosely fitting plastic bag. It will last even longer than if you hadn’t frozen it previously. (In my humble opinion).