Year of Progress

Sourdough Bread

(comments: 7)

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. 

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?

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Comment by Marsha |

Sourdough starter is on my list of to do's. I have tried about 5 times now and it has never turned out for me. Now that the weather is warming up, I am going to try again. Maybe I was not as patient as you were. Your bread looks lovely too. Enjoy!

Reply by Ella

Thank you, Marsha. It really takes a lot of patience. Try using luke warm water to get the starter going, I think it really helped mine along. I had a slice of my bread with nothing but butter on it, it was so yummy. Hope I can repeat the experiment. Good luck to you, and don't give up trying. 

Comment by Maria |

Looks tasty! Sourdough is on my list of things to try too. Or, more accurately, trying to get one of my young adults kids to do it to keep them from being so bored. :) Let us know how it works with the starter that's kept in the fridge.

Reply by Ella

Thank you, Maria. Making sourdough is great fun. I really do hope the cold companion will be okay, I'll find out soon. 

Comment by Becki |

Your bread looks beautiful and delicious! I look forward to any and all endeavors and experiments with sour dough.

Reply by Ella

Thank you, Becki. I'll keep you posted. I think I'll start feeding the cold companion today or tomorrow, hope it'll work. 

Comment by Liz |

I’m impressed, I’ve never had the patience to make sour dough, so I found this really interesting. Enjoy your fresh bread weekends.

Reply by Ella

Thank you, Liz. I must admit all the waiting time involved was nerve-wrecking but the fun of seeing first the starter and then the dough rise really made up for it. 

Comment by Lucy Bowen |

Ooh that looks really lovely. I may have to venture into this when I get more flour!

Reply by Ella

Thank you, Lucy. Flour is going to be a bit of a problem, it's more or less sold out in most shops. Seems like everybody's passing the lockdown time in the kitchen, baking bread. 

Comment by Mary-Anne |

Well done. I imagine it tastes as good as it looks. On my list of things to try - gluten free though so we will see how that works.

Reply by Ella

Thank you, Mary-Anne. It tasted lovely, and we ate the entire loaf. No leftovers like with store-bought bread. I'm getting ready to bake the second bread. Let me know how baking gluten-free works, please.

Comment by Sandra K. Licher |

Congrats on a successful "liftoff" I used to do sourdough and loved it but it I threw so much out it seemed a waste of flour. I couldn't use it fast enough but it sure makes wonderful products!

Reply by Ella

Thank you, Sandra. Have you thought of feeding in smaller portions? You might have to let the actual loaf rest for a bit longer but you might save on flour and work in the long run.