Fermentation Fun

Rachael over at Intricate Simplicity told us about her sourdough bread today. I have also been baking sourdough recipes. I’ve made sourdough breads, pizza bases and even cookies. If you’ve never tried sourdough bread, don’t be put off by the sound of it. I was at first… just think normal home made bread without commercially made yeast. Tastes better though! We always chomp into it hot from the oven with butter.

Here’s a recipe (not my original)

SOURDOUGH BREAD

2 cups sourdough starter
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups white flour

Melt butter over moderate heat, add milk and warm. Add sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add this mixture to starter in a large bowl and mix well. Add flour 1 cup at a time mixing well. Spoon batter into a loaf tin (or form dough with hands into a loaf and place on a baking tray). Allow to rise 1-2 hours. Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 45 minutes.

I get the best results when the starter is freshly ‘proofed’ which just means removed from fridge and fed (1 cup flour, 1 cup warm water) and left until very frothy. It gets a sweetish yeasty alcohol like smell. I usually do this at night and leave out overnight before baking. Don’t forget to feed your started after baking so that you always have a couple of cups fermenting away. I’ve also made this with added ground linseed, and it worked well.

There’s something really lovely about sourdough baking… when I made pizza bases, the house smelt like a real Pizza shop. (Is it ‘smelled’ or ‘smelt’?) It would have been easier to say “when I make pizza bases, the house smells like a pizza shop.” but I’m going to leave it now because maybe someone will be able to correct my grammar! (And I am going to teach my kids grammar???)

Here’s a pic of my starter nice and frothy…

Sourdough started

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5 thoughts on “Fermentation Fun

  1. mmm! Where do you get your starter from, though? As in, how do you start a starter? I want to try sourdough baking, too, but – alas – I have no starter in my fridge to feed. :(

  2. Well, I’d give you some if we lived closer! But….it’s easy to make.

    Just mix one cup flour and 1 cup warm water. That’s it. Leave it out (in a warm place if possible) and wait. Feed it every 24 hours by throwing out half of it and adding 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. It will become frothy and smell slightly sour when it’s ready for baking. From then on you can keep it in the fridge. Here’s a great site for the basics of sourdough baking. http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm

  3. I forgot to tell you that I’m on day 5 of starting a starter. I made it from scratch. It’s sort of bubbly but not quite ready yet. I might have to add a bit of cider vinegar to wake up the yeast. Do you still have yours going?

  4. Yay! Good on you. Funny you should bring it up because I managed to ruin my starter. I left it out of the fridge too long but didn’t feed it. It isn’t rotten, but instead of having a yummy yeasty sour smell it has qutie an acrid sour smell. (I think it’s fine to keep it out of the fridge if you are feeding it and discarding some (or baking with it) regularly.)
    I’ll also have a go making one from scratch…. never heard of using vinegar, but my friend started hers from potato water.
    I’ll let you know.

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