Sourdough is addictive.
It is really easy and once you start you will want to try all sorts of variations.
This is a rye starter loaf.
Just look at the rise.
The crumb of a sourdough is really lovely and has none of that yeasty taste dried yeast often produces.
Sourdough is produced through the fermentation of dough to use naturally occurring yeasts and lactobacilli.
The place to start is with a sourdough starter.
This is easy, though you need to consider your flour. Unbleached, unbromated flour has more micro - organisms than bleached flour. Wholemeal and Rye flour has more bran which has an even greater variety of micro - organisms, and is richer in minerals.
1. Mix 1 cup flour (I use 1/2 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup unbleached stone ground bread flour.)
with 1 cup warm water.
Keep this in a cover glass container with enough room for triple the volume, or you will have a very messy floor one morning.
2. Remove 1 cup of mix and replace with 1 cup of half water and half flour after 4 hours.
2. Repeat again after 4 hours.
3. Repeat every 24 hours.
4. Between day 4 and day 7 you should see lots of bubbling.
One the starter is bubbling, it is alive and ready to go!
Follow your favourite recipe and replace any starter you take out with fresh flour and water.
Do not be alarmed by a grey/ green liquid that forms on the top, just stir that back in. It is alcohol, and it is the by product of the micro - organisms.
2lbs sourdough loaf
2 cups starter
4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup warm water
pinch of salt
tbs of butter
1. Mix and then knead dough for 15 minutes.
2. Leave to rest until doubled.
3. Knead dough again and then leave to rise until doubled again. You can put it in the fridge for a slow cold rise over night if you want fresh bread in the morning.
4. Bake on a hot baking stone at 200C with a pan of boiling water placed on the bottom of your oven for 35'ish minutes.
Don't forget to feed your starter each day, and have fun developing new flavours. The starter becomes more sour and richer in flavour the older it gets.
Also be careful not to suddenly change your starters diet. If it is always fed rye flour and you want to feed it spelt, introduce it gradually.
Happy sourdough making!