Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sourdough Success

I've done it! I made a proper sourdough bread.

I've been working with my sourdough starter all month. Some of the bread has worked (it rose and tasted good), but it wasn't sourdough. It was just bread.

I've come to realize that "just bread" for us is a special treat for some. Twice this month I've given loaves to friends because they've stopped by at just the right time. One friend later emailed me to say that the family "devoured the warm bread within 5 minutes, like sharks swirling around the chum". I wish I'd kept the message to remind myself of the specialness of our everyday bread.

Anyway, we waited all day for this dough to double in size. It didn't, so I added some yeast and re-kneaded it, thinking it was a failed batch anyway so I had nothing to lose. It never did double in size, so I had to content myself with possibly two loaves of flatbread.

It's not a repeatable process because I don't know what recipe I was attempting and then adjusted it, but it turned out perfectly. And it tasted like a sourdough artisan bread.

Alice thinks it tastes funny. Maybe it's an adult taste, so I've had to make a couple of loaves of "just bread" as well this week.

Because we've hardly bought any bread for a year now, I keep running out of bags that fit homemade loaves. Last week I whipped up two cotton drawstring bags that work just fine, so I'll probably make up a couple more, allowing us to have buns or biscuits in one and one to circulate with loaves to friends on occasion.


Unknown said...

Have you figured out English Muffins yet?

This is on my list of things to try ...

(We keep our bread in a metal bread box from Ikea, wrapped in a cloth napkin ... seems to work!)

Evelyn in Canada said...

With five of us, that would have to be a huge napkin, but it's the same idea. We eat the bread pretty quickly so it shouldn't have time to dry out.

Nope, I haven't tried English Muffins, but maybe I'll take that on as my next bread challenge. Or croissants. Yum!

Unknown said...

Yup - bandana sized napkins for small loaves or tea towels for big ones - there's five of us here too! Stale bread (if it occurs, it happens sometimes) ends up in bread pudding, thankfully most of us like that!

Croissants ... now THAT is a bread challenge! Go for it! (then teach me?)