Sunday, 5 May 2013

Why bother with sourdough?

This is the question I ask myself as a new baker and having looked after and grown my own sourdough using just flour and water. My first sourdough loaf was questionable (though still eaten) and now my second loaf is better.

 Clearly I am becoming blase as the photo was not taken until we had eaten some. Son said it was very good in his chef-y way. I decided to prove it and bake it in the tin as last time it stuck to the floured tea towel in my homemade banneton. Son was not happy with the shape but it pleased me - he also wanted the texture to be less fluffy and more dense. It still felt quite moist though a huge improvement on the last one.

Then there is the taste. It had a sour taste to it, though I will admit not in a way that sticks in your throat, and I am still not sure if I can like that taste. As I ate it felt like drinking red wine for the first time: persevering until one actually liked the taste! Don't get me wrong, the bread still tasted on the whole okay, just different. After a bit of searching I came across this very interesting blog item with a link to a radio programme from 2010 or before, talking about sourdough and the interesting point that they do not have to taste sour! It was also encouraging to see the sourdough breads the blogger had baked. My mind is already set on making my first yeast pizza dough and lo and behold this blogger specialises in them.

Coming back to sourdough though, I have to say I am very proud to have made this loaf knowing I had not used any commercial yeast. That aspect of the sourdough appeals to me greatly.

My pot of sourdough starter is now a resident in the fridge until I decide what next for it.

UPDATE: I revise my ideas already. Next morning and I have just sliced and buttered a piece of the sourdough bread and it really is quite delicious and not really sour just a depth of flavour. I will admit that last night when I sliced the bread it was still just a tad warm. So maybe that is why everyone says wait for it to cool completely because it needs that time to mellow or whatever. Meanwhile, the extra starter created as a result of using some for the bread and then not reducing by much left me with just enough to make sourdough pancakes and sourdough crumpets this morning. And just enough starter to feed and keep. I can now see myself getting a second container to in future keep the starter discards (from the feeding) in order to make crumpets and other things. Photos in due course - I'm off to the allotment now as it is a glorious day. Must wear hat to keep sun off face. Eh by gum I'll be an eco warior princess before you know it!

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