I've wanted to learn how to make a good sourdough bread from start(er) to finish for ages. Now that lockdown forces me to stay home, I thought this might be just the right time to get going. After all, making sourdough bread is very much about being patient and taking one's time - and I admit that I usually lack both patience and time in everyday life.
It all starts with a good starter (pun intended). I used 100 g rye flour type 1150 and 100 ml warm water, gave it a thorough stir and then let it sit, and waited for the magic to happen. There are lots of tips all over the internet for how long magic usually takes, so I decided to literally stick to the book (about bread making) this time and let the starter sit for 48 hours. And guess what - it developed both the lovely bubbles and the nice sour smell, just as required. I then fed it another 100 g flour and 100 ml water and let it sit for another 24 hours. It might have been sheer beginner's luck but it really turned out perfectly well, both in bubble amout and sour smell, and even the colour looked just as it was supposed to, according to the youtube video Steve and I watched to pass the waiting time.
When baking time came, I used about 150 g of my starter (I put 50 g away for my next sourdough), mixed it with 200 g rye flour and 150 g spelt flour 630, and since the starter was so young, I decided to add some yeast to the mix just to make sure the bread would rise. I also added some salt and about 5 g of a bread spice mixture I bought a while ago. I did all the neccessary kneading and then let the dough rise over night, and it really did what it was supposed to, and was just ever so lovely in the morning.
From starter to dough
For the actual baking part, I followed a recommendation from the afore-mentioned youtube video. It said to bake the bread on 220° for 10 min with a bowl of water beneath it first, then remove the water and bake it for another 45 min on 200°. I did cut the top but the bread still broke open on the side - not that I mind, though. The crust turned out to be perfectly crispy, while the inside of the bread was smooth and just on the right side of moist, and it tasted great.
We don't really eat much bread, probably because we hardly ever have breakfast (save on weekends when neither of us has to work, and even then, we're more the Shakshuka kind), so I guess I'll stick to baking smaller loaves. Since the starter should keep well in the fridge for about 10 days, and should easily be revived by feeding it, baking a new loaf once a week should be simple enough. Or so my book tells me. I guess I'll find out soon enough - will my cold companion rise to the new challenge and reward me with another serving of tastiness?