Sourdough loaf made from scratch and filled with cheese, garlic and bacon.
For the Sourdough Starter
700g Strong White Flour
For the Sourdough
500g Strong White Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
300g Sourdough Starter
225ml Warm Water
For the Cheesy Garlic Hedgehog Bread
4 Rashers of Streaky Bacon
3 Garlic Cloves
200g Butter, softened
125g Mozzarella Cheese, grated
4 Spring Onions, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Make the sourdough starter by combining 100g flour with 125ml luke warm water. Stir to combine and then pour into a large jar. Leave the jar uncovered in a warm place (around 25°C) for 1 hour and then seal and set aside for 24 hours at room temperature.
Feed the ‘starter’ by pouring away half of the original mixture and replace it with another 100g strong white flour and 125ml warm water. Stir well to combine and reseal the jar.
Repeat the process for 5 more days. By day 3-4, the starter should start to get bubbles appearing on the surface and smell a little yeasty. By day 7, the starter should be bubbly and sweet-smelling and is ready to use.
To make the sourdough, place the flour, salt, sugar, sourdough starter and warm water into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Tip onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 10 minutes to form an elastic dough. Alternatively, use a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on a slow speed, then increase to a medium speed and mix for about 5 minutes to form an elastic dough.
Place the dough in a bowl and cover. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 3-4 hours until the dough has started to rise.
Place the dough back onto a lightly oiled work surface and knead to knock out any air bubbles. Shape the dough into a ball and place onto an oiled baking tray. Make a few slashes across the top and flour lightly.
Cover the dough and leave it to prove until it has increased in size – this can take 4-8 hours. If you prefer, place the dough in the fridge and leave it to slow-prove overnight, then allow it to prove for a couple more hours at room temperature the following day.
Pre-heat the oven to 210°C Fan/Gas Mark 8. Place a roasting tin half filled with water into the base of the oven to create steam. Place the sourdough loaf into the oven and bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 200°C/Gas Mark 7 for a further 10-15 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6.
Fry the bacon in a lightly oiled frying pan for 5 minutes until cooked and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and cut into thin strips.
In a bowl, mix the bacon, garlic, 175g of the butter, cheese and spring onions together and season.
Cut a crisscross pattern into the sourdough loaf, cutting halfway down into the loaf. Push the cheesy garlic filling into the gaps and brush the loaf with the remaining butter. Wrap the loaf in foil and place onto a baking tray.
Bake for 25-35 minutes until the loaf is hot and the butter has melted, then uncover the loaf and bake for a further 5 minutes to crisp up the bread if preferred. Tear the bread and serve immediately.
Leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version.