Years and years I've been hearing about sourdough bread. Generally on those foodie type programs such as The Great British Bake Off or some celebrity chef's telly program.
The normal theme is that it gives a unique taste and is a true 'real bread'. They always say that it takes patience and discipline to start and keep the sourdough starter. Well I've decided to give it a try and find out.
Sourdough bread can't be just made on the spur of the moment. It takes a long time to develop the flavours and, indeed, just to prove. There are of course instant sourdough mixes out there you can buy, which are basically are a 'just add water' packet. I class a these as cheating, but I'm sure this happens a lot in commercially made sourdough loaves. I'm going to be doing sourdough the traditional way, including making my own starter from scratch. It's a project that will take up to about two weeks before I produce my first sourdough loaf.
Yesterday I did my research on how to get my sourdough starter, well, started. This morning around six o'clock I mixed the ingredients. Nothing too strenuous just 4 oz (113g) of wholemeal flour and same for white flour into my sealable tub (which will be it's home) into which I added some warm water from a nearly cool kettle which I'd boiled earlier for a cup of tea. To find the right amount of water needed I just stirred in the water until the mixture resembled thickish soup. Then I whisked the mixture to add air to it. When I say whisk I don't mean a limp wristed stir, I mean a good thrashing. Supposedly the idea is that by doing this natural yeast in the air around us is captured in the flour/water mixture.
The tub was then sealed and put in the corner of the kitchen. As I understand it the sourdough starter will take between a few hours to a few days to activate. So I'll keep checking and post the next stage once it has started. The signs I am looking for are of fermentation, so bubbles on the surface along with a smell.
I've also named my sourdough starter, I've decided it's a bloke and his name will be Boblington Riley. My wife thinks I've not has enough sleep this week, I'm kinda thinking she may be right.
Check back soon to see how long stage one of The Sourdough Project took.
In the series:
- Written by Stuart Edge
- Category: The Sourdough Project
- Published: 07 November 2013