One of my problems when cooking, is my lack of patience. It is unfortunate to say but it is the crucial reason I have rarely ventured into the land of pies, macaroons and breads, until nowww.
I am a sourdough addict – french, spanish, rye or olive – I could eat a whole loaf in one sitting. The bakery a few suburbs over currently holds the key to my heart thanks to their scrumptious range of loaves, bagels, almond croissants, and sourdough donuts. I can’t wait to be able to create such things on my own – I must find someone to teach me! I spent an hour or two yesterday researching the process of making sourdough and I happened to stumble across a wonderful easy recipe for making your own rustic loaf at home (thank you Jules Clancy of Stonesoup, what would I do without you?!) PERFECT! She explained that after making my ‘starter’ I was going to have to wait three – four days before I could actually bake a loaf!?! Good things take time – I could practically the smell the warmth and comfort of a sourdough loaf cooking in my oven.
So this afternoon I seized the day and made my ‘starter’. You will find the recipe below…
Jules’s educational encouraging tips (she is just the greatest):
“From day 3 you can start using your sourdough starter to add flavour to your bread and keep supplementing it with yeast until it is active enough to go it alone.
Once you have the starter established, just keep it in the fridge and feed it about twice a week, or more often if you’re making bread regularly. If you need to go on holidays you can give it a massive feed but I wouldn’t be keen to leave it for longer than a week. You’ll know if it dies because you’ll get awful looking mould growing on the top. It happened to my first culture. But don’t stress if you have a starter death on your hand. You’ve made it once you can make it again.
This would be a great project to do with children. It’s like having a new pet that doesn’t need toilet training!
The wonderful flavour of great sourdough is a result of particular strains of lactic acid bacteria. To encourage these little creatures to grow in your culture, I like to use natural yoghurt. But if you wanted to keep it dairy free you could skip the yoghurt or use a few organic grapes.”Stonesoup
50g bread flour
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
In a clean bowl or jar, mix together 50g (2oz) flour, 50g (2oz) water and 2 tablespoons organic natural yoghurt. Cover with cling wrap and leave somewhere warm.
Using a clean spoon, add 100g (4oz) flour and 100g (4oz) water. Mix to combine. Recover and leave in a warm place.
Today you can make your first loaf – you will need to use some yeast also. When you’ve removed 200g starter, replenish with 100g (4oz) flour and 100g (4oz) water. Mix to combine. Recover and leave in a warm place.
DAY 4 onwards
Remove 200g starter and either use it to make bread or throw it away. Using a clean spoon replace with 100g (4oz) flour and 100g (4oz) water. Mix to combine. Recover and leave in a warm place
Between approximately DAY 10 and DAY 15
Your starter should start to show signs of life – basically it will start to bubble. When this happens you can stop using the yeast in with your bread, and start to keep the starter in the fridge and stop feeding it everyday. Aim to feed it (remove 200g (8oz) and replace with 100g (4oz) each flour and water) twice a week or more often if you’re baking more frequently.
Stay tuned for the outcome of my first sourdough loaf! Wish me luck :O