Sourdough

1:00 am on 15 November 2009

Starter

Ingredients

  • 1 ltr rye flour (if you can get wholemeal, that's even better)
  • 1 ltr lukewarm water

Method

Combine in a non-porous bowl, stir well. Cover with clingfilm and let stand at room temperature. Each day, give it a good stir. Depending on relative humidity and temperature, it should start showing bubbles within 24 hours, and will be ready after 3-5 days. It should smell slightly acrid but not unpleasantly so, and be quite frothy when it's ready for use. If it smells really strong and a clear film of lactic acid develops on top it's been standing too long; you can still use it (immediately) but it will be quite overpowering. If it turns an odd colour or smells like ammonia something bad got in there. Throw it away and try again.

From this point you can bake, start maintaining it as a pet by feeding it flour and water every day, or you can divide it up and freeze it in little baggies.

To bake, set aside a cupful to feed up for next time. Add flour to form a fairly loose dough and let rise. This will take longer than with commercial yeast, 4-6 hours. Then shape your loaf and proof it before baking.

With the frozen baggies, take a bag out the day before you're planning on baking. Add a litre of water and a litre of flour to it, stir well and cover. It  should be frothing nicely the next day (again depending on relative humidity and temperature).

Mixed Bread

Ingredients

1 cup high-grade (wheat) flour
1 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp salt.
1/2 ltr lukewarm water
sourdough starter
high-grade (wheat) flour

Method

In a bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt. Add water and work well. Pour in your sourdough starter and combine. Add enough high-grade flour to form a stretchy, firm but not hard dough. Let rise  to double size. This will take about an hour in a reasonably warm house. Form into two good-sized loaves and place on a baking tray to rise for about 30-40 minutes. Bake at 175 degrees C for about 40 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when you  tap it. Cool under a clean teatowel. Enjoy!

Sourdough

From Saturday Morning

Find a Recipe

or browse by title