One of the regular mutterings about sourdough is the length of time it takes – there’s no way you can just make bread when you fancy it. Oh, really ….?
Knock up a dough at 80% hydration. It’s wet enough for you to mix with a spatula so you don’t even have to get you hands sticky. Scrape it into a well-oiled shallow container and stick it in the fridge. Prep time about 10 minutes. From the following day onwards, at any time you like for about four days, you can have bread on your table within 30 minutes.
Sunday morning while Sue’s in the bath (this is why they’re called Bath Buns), I take the dough out of the fridge and turn on the oven to 250C. I turn out the dough onto a heavily floured surface and press it out into a rectangle of fairly uniform thickness. I cut out rounds with a pastry cutter and space them out on a baking sheet coated in rye flour and flatten them with floured fingers. The off-cuts I shape into a couple of small rough baguettes.
Within 15 minutes the oven’s up to heat and in go the trays. 15 minutes later the buns are cooling on a rack. Not only was Sue unaware she was getting fresh buns for breakfast, she still hasn’t emerged from her toilette yet.