Monday, 1 August 2016

Sourdough Adventures

I've been watching someone on Instagram start their sourdough adventure and thought, I really should give that a try. So a bit over a week ago, I kicked off my sourdough starter. Just a simple 50:50 mix of plain flour and water, feeding it daily and keeping it near the heater. First it smelled a little funky, then the bubbles started to appear...
So yesterday I decided to test my first loaf. I wasn't convinced the starter was quite ready, so I dropped in a little commercial yeast just to help it along. I must say, I was pretty impressed with my effort; a lovely moist sourdough loaf. It's just unfortunate I didn't oil the sides of the pot I used, as it got a little stuck.
My method was pretty simple
  • mix together the flour, starter and warm water (with a splash of dried yeast dissolved in it)
  • sit for 30 minutes
  • mix through salt; knead by hand for about a minute
  • put in oiled bowl
  • stretch and fold every 30 minutes for approximately 2 hours
  • Shape the loaf and put in oiled pot (I use my French oven)
  • leave it to prove; with the added yeast I gave it an hour but true sourdough would need several hours
  • bake for 20 minutes at 200C with the lid on, then a further 40 minutes with the lid off
  • turn onto cooling rack
There are heaps of different recipes around and its really a matter of trial and error to find one that works for you. For mine, I used:
  • 500g plain flour
  • 300g warm water
  • 180g sourdough starter
  • a teaspoon full of salt (I use Murray river pink flakes)
While the process takes most of the day, it doesn't actually require a lot of intervention, so you can go about your business while your bread is doing its thing. Mine was absolutely delicious served with some lamb shank pasta that I'd cooked for 12 hours in the slow cooker...