Sourdough Starter: 96 hours

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I have been thinking about sourdough for an awfully long time. I get cravings for it on a Saturday morning, and then quickly regret not having any sourdough yeast around to quickly whip up a delicious floury loaf for breakfast. I occasionally treat myself to a loaf of sourdough, but I know better. I should be making it myself.

But of course, to have sourdough bread, you need a sourdough yeast or sponge. To have a sourdough sponge, you need a starter.

And that's a lot of hard work and patience.

It's only really hard work because you have to wait a whole 7 - 10 days before you can use your magic sourdough starter to actually produce bread. That's a whole lot of holding back and being patient. You have to love it and feed it every day, at 24-hour intervals. You have to whisk it and monitor it. You have to be patient.

It really does grow and take on a life of its own. How very clever. I've been peeking in from time to time, lifting up the clingwrap and taking a whiff to smell whether it is fermenting well. It is.

I'm using Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe for the sourdough starter, which is 100g of wholemeal flour mixed with enough water to get the texture of thick paint. You need to scoop out half of it every day and feed it anew, which initially really put me off (all that waste!) but now, as I watch it ferment, it really makes sense. You need to let it grow.

You can find Hugh's sourdough starter recipe here.

So, in 7 - 10 days it will be ready to bake. In 7 - 10 days we will be in a new kitchen. A small little kitchen nook in our lovely new home. T-minus 4 sleeps.

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