Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Making Sourdough.... first trial.

When we were in France recently, I was eating the gorgeous pain de seigle that is served everywhere. Lovely moist bread, slightly grey in colour, just a slight tang from the rye.

Could I find it here... no chance.

The nearest I could find was the pain levain that is on sale in most good supermarkets (we don't have a good artisan baker near here) but that was still not quite it.

Levain - that is sourdough. So I started my internet searches, found tons of info on sourdough starters, and started my own. That was a week ago, and yesterday, I reckoned my starter was lively enough to bake bread with. After wandering around, I decided on Susan's Favourite Sourdough at Wild Yeast


I don't think I got it right this time. The bread is rather dark and hard and very very sour. I might try cutting very thin slices and drying it to see if makes nice crispy melba toast things, but I don't think I want to eat it as bread.

I think I was generally impatient:

a) I think I didn't let the starter get quite lively enough before I started.
b) I don't think I proved it quite enough - or that it was taking too long because I hadn't done a)
c) No oven spring, so something wasn't right.
d) Over cooked so crust is hard not crackly.

So starter out of the fridge again and feed until I see much more vigorous growth and start again.

by which time my dough whisk and scrapers should have arrived from the USA. Amazingly it was cheaper to buy from there and have it sent, than to buy in the UK (assuming I ever found a dough whisk which I hadn't up to now.) I bought it from Breadtopia - a very informative site.

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