We’ve been experimenting with bread recently…
…in particular, sourdough bread.
It begins with making a starter. This is a living, breathing culture. There are various methods of making a starter – flour & water, flour & apple juice – ours is a mixture of flour, milk & natural yoghurt. No extra yeast is added, it relies on naturally occuring yeast in the flour and air. The starter is ‘fed’ daily – we feed ours with:
- 4 tablespoons strong white bread flour
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
Some bakers have nurtured the same starter decades – even centuries!
A portion of starter is added to flour & water for each new loaf – along with any additional ingredients such as seeds, cheese, honey etc.
We’ve been very pleased with the results!
The bread has a lovely open texture and distinctive sourdough smell & taste.
It’s great with all kinds of food – it’s particularly good with different cheeses, cooked meats, pickles etc – it was, in fact, ideal as part of this traditional ploughmans’ lunch.
And when it’s past its best, it makes great breadcrumbs for future use!
If you fancy having a go yourself, here are a few links to websites & books that we’ve found helpful:
Our delicious.com ‘bread’ web bookmarks
The Handmade Loaf, Dan Lepard
Bread: River Cottage Handbook No 3, Daniel Stevens
Bread Matters: Why and How to Make Your Own, Andrew Whitley
Dough, Richard Bertinet
Crust: Bread to Get Your Teeth into, Richard Bertinet
ARTISAN BREAD IN 5 MINUTES A DAY: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking, Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois