For anyone who loves toast there is nothing finer than Sourdough bread to make it from. This traditional loaf is thought by many to be the domain of specialist Artisan bakers and many are willing to pay accordingly for it. But it is actually fairly easy to make yourself.
Here follows my guide for making homemade sourdough bread from scratch. You do not require any previous baking experience!
Thought to have been first mastered by the Ancient Egyptians, Sourdough is a form of leavene bread using natural yeast to make carbon dioxide bubbles within the dough causing it to rise. The bubbles are trapped in the gluten strands within the bread making it rise.
Firstly you will need to make and look after your Sourdough Starter as known as ‘Levain.’ This liquid is made by mixing bread flour and water. It makes use of naturally occurring yeasts found in the air and from the flour itself.
It will take a week or so to make the Starter. You will need a ‘crock’ or large jar to store the Starter in.
Making the Homemade Sourdough Bread Starter
Add 150g Strong Wholegrain Bread Flour with 250mls just warm / tepid water.
Keep the Crock in a warm environment, such as on the counter top at room temperature. It should have a loose fitting lid to allow gases to escape!
After 1-2 days you should notice bubbles forming, it is now time to feed your Starter
Add another 150g Flour and 250mls tepid water
You should feed it daily for the first week, each time discarding half the volume and replacing with 150g flour and 250mls tepid water.
After 7 days of feeding / discarding half your starter should be visibly bubbling and it should have a deep bready aroma
Many people name their starter! and if looked after it can last for years and even be shared with others!
Keeping the Sourdough Starter
Depending on how often you are going to bake with it will dictate how often it will need feeding. If used only occasionally you can add more flour to turn the starter into a thick paste and or keep it in the Fridge.
I tend to bake once a week on a Saturday, I feed the starter on Thursdays – mixing in fresh four and adding some water if too thick. I do not always discard some as our Crock is quite large.
If dormant you can re-energise your starter by blending in a food processor and feeding again, within a day or 2 it will be ready to use again. This will get air into the mixture and allow the yeasts to quickly come back to life with the new added flour.
My Blog Next Time…. get baking !!