It’s Alive!

The yeasties are blooming!

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The above picture is my starter this afternoon after three days of flour and water feedings.

I have very little (no) experience in the sourdough business, but the blogs and common sense tell me that when it comes to capturing wild yeast bubbles are good news.  The bubbles are appearing quickly after a good strong stir and the mixture is giving off a not totally unpleasant sour vinegaresque smell. Hopefully I’m cultivating a nice little starter that will work.

According to the starter recipe I used (this one) tomorrow my starter should be in full bloom and ready for maintenance and use.

Coincidentally, but conveniently, tomorrow will be Sunday.  This seems like a good omen somehow.  I’d love to get into the habit of baking a fresh loaf every Sunday for the week ahead.

Now to scout out easy looking recipes for my first bread attempt!

 

 

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Starting Sourdough

There’s something so homely and comforting about freshly baked bread.  Just thinking about it fires up the senses; I can feel the warmth of a wood fire oven, smell the delicious yeasty smell of a fresh loaf and hear the crunch of a knife sawing through the golden crust.

That’s just my imagination talking though. I have never had a wood fire oven and I’ve actually baked my own bread less than a handful of times.  But baking bread at home has always appealed to me and I would love to do it more.

I think it’s the preparation required that prevents me from doing it more often.  The last time I tried to make bread I created a surprisingly edible loaf and realised how easy it can actually be, if only you can get yourself organised enough to start several hours (or days) before you want the bread. I guess the frequent bread baker has a bit of a routine in place. I could do that. Maybe.

Last time I used supermarket bought yeast, which was ok, but when it comes to bread my real love is for sourdough. There are a couple of companies locally that make absolutely delicious sourdough loaves, both available from a shop within walking distance from my front door.  Usually they more than satisfy my need for tasty, additive free, fresh bread, but they are one of the key expenses thwarting my attempts to tighten the grocery budget.

In a quiet moment this afternoon motivation finally struck and I decided to start a starter.  If this sourdough starter actually takes off I will attempt to keep it alive and become a regular home bread baker.  Fingers crossed!

Sourdough starter sounds simple (mix some flour and water and wait, essentially) but I’m sure there are a million ways it can go wrong.

Always looking for the least complicated option, I found a wonderfully simple sounding recipe here.

Here’s a snapshot of my starter underway.

 

sourdough starter

 

 

This is equal parts plain flour and water mixed together. I will feed it the same again each day for 5 days and hopefully it will take off!

I didn’t use filtered water (simply because I don’t have any and I don’t have a filter) so hopefully whatever is in the local tap water won’t prevent the yeasties from blossoming.

We’ll have to wait and see….