Making Sourdough

Mmm, sourdough bread is the business. Especially coated in cream cheese. So, I decided to have a whirl at making it.

Firstly, I follow Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for sourdough.
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This begins with making a sourdough starter from flour and water, which needs ‘feeding’ daily. After a while, it smells rank – and what I can only describe as resembling nail polish remover.

Next up is making a ‘sponge’ using some of the starter mix. sourdough1
The starter is mixed with more flour to create a sponge, which is left overnight before being mixed with more flour to start the loaf.

Once you’ve got something resembling a ball of dough, it has to go through two provings before it gets to the oven!

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Blimey.

The photos show only a couple of stages in the whole process – starter, kneaded dough and I think it was the first prove. I had two attempts at making a loaf – the first one I didn’t fold the dough properly and it produced a bread version of Kendal, with a large valley in the middle.

The next attempt as seen below was more sucessful – however I still got a pretty crap rise out of it. This is where my patience ran out.

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Unfortunately, having to feed the starter everyday meant I was going through a shit-tonne of flour. Plus I got annoyed with having to be bothered to do it every day when there’s a lot of other stuff going on in life at the moment.

In a fit of rage one morning, I disposed of the stinky starter.

I liked the idea of making my own sourdough, because there’s no yeast involved I don’t have a bad reaction to it like when I eat any other bread I make.

However, it takes a lot of time, work and flour. Now I know why they are quite pricey to buy!

I may try again when I’m more, uh, domesticated. In the meantime, I think I’ll experiement with some different types of bread flour and see how I do with those.

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