Friday, 1 April 2011

alchemy, or how to make your sour dough starter

i've been making so much bread lately and getting in such a floury mess that i made myself this pinny to try at least to keep my clothes a little bit clean.

this is the first loaf of sour dough bread and it was delicious. i really have caught the bug now and am baking much faster than we can eat as a family. to make a loaf it takes about 2 days from start to finish,plus feeding out starter regularly, but i seem to have a good flow going now.

this seems to be good for all my friends who are getting to sample these lovely handmade loaves. the best compliment i have had came from a 5 year old boy who descibed his bread as 'yummy home sweet home toast'

i am enjoying this process so much i would like to share it with you here. the first step is to make your sour dough starter.Pure alchemy cultivating the wild yeasts.

you will need:

1tbsp strong wholemeal bread flour
3tbsp strong white bread flour
juice of 1 orange

In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients and enough warm water to create a thick paste. Then cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and leave in a warm place for the magic to happen. Within 24hrs there should be signs of fermentation – signalled by the appearance of bubbles on the surface. It can take anything from a few hours to a few days for the process to begin.

Everyday you need to feed your starter. you do this by mixing the same quantities of flour with some water to retain the batter like consistency. Leave it for 24hrs and then feed again. it is a bit like having a pet, look after it and it will thrive.
francisco has taken this one step further and named our starter Yoshi he is really enjoying the new daily ritual.

when your bowl gets a bit full just empty a bit out and feed again. there is no real right or wrong way and many people have developed their own techniques but this is how i have done mine.

don't be tempted to bake a loaf until your starter has been going for 7-10 days and smells yeasty and inviting.

if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.


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