Wednesday, January 4

It's Alive!

Ever since I got the River Cottage bread book I have been contemplating making a sourdough loaf. This means creating a sourdough starter, which you use instead of yeast as the raising agent in the bread. It's easily done: you mix flour and tepid water and wait a few days for the natural yeasts in the air to do their job. I've always been put off from doing it though, because you have to 'feed' the starter. It's alive, and if you want to use it, you have to keep it alive. Apparently it's possible to keep a starter on the go for 15 years or more. I've always found that rather daunting. I'll forget to feed it, it'll die, I'll feel bad.

Luckily others do not have such ridiculous worries, and my friend @rougeforever has been inspired by @PlanBreadBakery to make a starter of her own. I'm all in favour of a bandwagon, so yesterday I decided to jump on. I duly mixed 20g of wholemeal bread flour, 20mg of white, 4 raisins (oh alright I used sultanas) and 50ml of tepid water. Plus a bit more water because compared to everyone else's photos it looked like it needed it . I left it on the kitchen counter over night and when I checked it this morning it looked just like a mixture of flour and water. Distinctly inert.

Today I 'fed' the starter with another 40g of flours and some more water and having just checked's bubbling! It's alive!

There may yet be bread (I'll have counselling if it dies. Or a cocktail).


Mali said...

I love the idea of making bread. I've tried it - not successful, except for Jamie Oliver's picnic bread (doesn't have to rise much).

Lucia said...

That is serious effort! How did it go in the end?

Emma said...

It was a bit disappointing, and took FOREVER though I must say it tasted fantastic! I had to make some 'normal' bread the following weekend just to remind myself I could do good bread that rose well. On balance I think I'll leave sourdough to the experts, and make normal bread at home when I fancy it.

Rachael Fowler said...

Such a helpful blog!
I am new to baking so I'm clueless!!! My friends have all recommended Sourdough's International's sourdough starter to me, so I'm going to give it a go!!!