Photo: Anita Šumer

Anita Šumer is a passionate self-taught 100% sourdough home baker and teacher, based in Slovenia. Follow her on Instagram @sourdough_mania

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Wednesday evening—It’s late at night when I prepare my sweet starter/levain to be used in my 100% sourdough Danish pastry. Leave to ferment and double overnight on the kitchen counter.

Thursday morning—I prepare the milky dough and put it in the fridge till late at night. Meanwhile I feed my good companion Rudl with 50% stone-ground wheat and 50% bread flour to keep him nice and strong. It’s cold outside, so I warm a cup of water in the microwave, then put the fed starter into it. After he reaches his peak, I make two levains, one again sweet that I’ll use in my 100% hamburger buns and the other one with 100% stone-ground wheat flour that I’ll use the next day for bread.

Anita Šumer
Anita Šumer

Thursday evening—I mix the sweet levain into hamburger brioche dough and put to rest overnight in the fridge. Before going to sleep, about 10 pm, I start laminating the Danish pastry dough. It’s nice and calm in the night, not to mention a bit cooler than during the day. I do two series of folds. It’s nearly midnight when I go to bed.

Friday morning—I take out the hamburger brioche dough and leave it to proof for about 30% increase in volume. During that time, I hand-mix 2.5 kg stone-ground wheat flour with water to be used for bread. After 30 minutes, I add salt, levain and a bit more water. The standard procedure follows—namely stretch and folds.

Friday afternoon—While the bread dough is bulk proofing, around 1 pm, I roll out the Danish pastry dough, cut it and form various shapes, egg-wash and cover with foil.

Friday evening—I shape buns, preshape and final shape boules and batards, everything to be baked on Saturday morning. I almost run out of baking trays, this bake will be one of the biggest up to date. Hoarding bannetons—you know you can never have enough, right?—has come very handy today. Covered bannetons are put outside on the balcony, at about 9-11°C for a slow cold rise until tomorrow morning. Buns are left covered on the kitchen counter together with Danish pastry that takes ages to proof due to all the butter.

Saturday morning—I get up early, at about 5 am, to preheat my oven with the granite stone. First bake will be Danish pastry, followed by buns, and then finally seven batards and boules.

Saturday afternoon—I don’t usually bake in such large quantities but on Saturday there’s a special Plant exchange. As I haven’t got any plants this year, I decided to bake sourdough bread and goodies in exchange for the plants. Everyone is super happy, me included. Sharing my love and passion for sourdough is one of the things I can’t imagine my life without.

Photo: Anita Šumer
Photo: Anita Šumer

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