1. 2 to 3 hours before you want to start your sourdough bread, take the starter out of the fridge and feed it with 40g filtered water and 40g strong white bread flour. Mix well, cover with cling film (or a shower cap) and set to one side to start working. After 2 to 3 hours the starter should be frothy and light with lots of bubbles and it may be making a noise, as in singing! It’s now ready to use. Put the covered starter back in the fridge until it is needed next time you want to bake.
2. Place a bowl onto some digital scales and set the tare to zero. Add 60g of sourdough starter and set the tare to zero again; then add the salt and water, again, I find it easier to set the tare to zero before adding both flours. Take the bowl off the scales and mix well, it will look rough and lumpy, but never fear it will soon start to look like bread dough! Cover the dough with cling film/shower cap and set to one side.
3. After an hour, uncover it and with your hands, bring the dough from the outside, and fold it into the middle. Do this for about 15 to 20 times – I find it is easier if I rotate the bowl at the same time. Cover it and set to one side.
4. Do the folding and turning action two or three more times over the next few hours, adding the cheese, olives and oregano the third time you fold and turn, by this time the dough will be smooth, elastic and sticky. I start this at about 3pm to 4pm and the dough is ready at about 8pm to 9pm.
5. Once the dough is smooth and elastic (see above) and it will have risen by now too, cover the bowl with cling film or a shower cap and set to one side in a cool place to prove overnight. (I use my pantry which is about 10 degrees C in the winter)
6. In the morning, the dough will have risen overnight and you will have a large, round ball of smooth dough that’s ready to bake after the buns have been shaped. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/190C Fan/400F/375F Fan/Gas mark 6 and line a large baking tray/sheet with non-stick baking parchment.
7. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Place the buns onto the prepared baking tray/sheet and score the tops of the rolls with a lame or razor.
8. Bake the buns in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until they are well risen, golden-brown, and when they are turned over and tapped underneath they sound hollow. Remove them from the oven and then set aside to cool on a wire rack.
9. Serve warm, split and spread with butter, or serve toasted, split and spread with butter. The cooked buns can be frozen for up to 3 months; allow 6 hours for them to defrost and serve as above. They make wonderful sandwiches too, especially with Italian ham and tomatoes.
You can also add sun-dried chopped tomatoes along with the cheese, olives and oregano. The malted brown flour is packed with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, millet, brown linseed and poppy seeds for an extra texture and nutty taste.