Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to make sourdough bread

or, how to go from starter to loaf in 2 weeks!
A couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted another sourdough starter. When the girls were younger I kept a sourdough starter for 12 years, which was given to me by a woman living on a remote community in the Northern Territory (Haasts Bluff, we were living in Papunya), and she had had it for 6 six years. 
At some point I stopped making so much bread and let the poor sourdough, die. 

So I mixed a cup of white flour and a cup of water together and put them in a glass jar and covered it with a piece of clean cloth. Every couple of days I stirred the mix, poured half of it away and added another cup of flour and cup of cold water. After a few days it started to bubble up...

If I found a layer of darkish water on top of the mix I poured it off first, then stirred etc...

After a couple of weeks I decided that it was time to try out the sourdough on a loaf of bread. 
This is what I did;
I put these ingredients in a bowl,
1 cup of sourdough
I cup of water
3 cups of wholemeal flour (I used Kialla stoneground, organic flour, very yum)

Then I stirred, then kneaded the mix until it was a firm and smooth enough dough to knead on the board. The wholemeal flour absorbs a lot of moisture so the mix got firmer as a stirred.
Then I put it on some white flour on my kitchen bench and kneaded for about 6 minutes. Recipes always say to knead for 15 minutes but I can't do that. It hurts my shoulders.

Then I covered the bowl with a clean cloth and let the dough rise for about three hours. Unfortunately I didn't think to get a photo of that, but it about doubled in size. Then I punched it down, kneaded it on the bench again (more white flour) for a few minutes and then put it into an oiled souffle dish.

Here is what came out of the oven.
This is what we did with it.

 a fine crumbed, moist loaf

Sourdough bread is the best toast in the universe. I like mine well done :-)  And yes, that is homemade marmalade. The best orange and ruby grapefruit marmalade in the universe.
 Max didn't have marmalade, or burnt edges. She says that she likes the word marmalade, and she likes marmalade cats, but she doesn't like to eat it. Meh.

Best afternoon tea. Only problem is the loaf didn't last long and now I need to make another one. Just as well the sourdough is bubbling along politely by the sink.


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  2. Oh my! This looks delicious. I am a bread baker too, but I have never tried to make my own starter. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is great! I love your blog Julie :)

  4. Oh this bread and marmelade looks divine! I am Wishing i could do this ...oh but i have no idea how to knead bread ! Embarassing to admit but true! I want to start making homemade bread. I think i will try! thank you for the inspiration. I am a fellow creative courage student :) it is nice to meet you and your art and your bread look fantastic!