These little lumps of goo have transformed the breads I bake. I have finally mastered sourdough baking and feel like I have come as far as I want when it comes to breads (what will my next project be?). The breads I now bake rise well, take very little effort, come out of the oven with a crispy crust, are succulent inside, they last for several days in a tea towel; and last, but not least, they taste wonderfully!
Baking with sourdough is an ancient tradition, we’re talking thousands of years and ancient Egypt. There are some who claim to have starters going back to the 18th century (the 17 hundreds). And what this is proof of, is how easy it is to do. There is no magic powder, secret ingredients, or blessings made by wizardy unicorns that gets the process going. What you need is flour (wheat and rye are the most used types), water, and a container with a lid. Flour grains and the air around us have traces of yeast spores in them. This is a natural type of yeast that our bodies digest more easily than the store bought dry or fresh yeast. Keeping flour, mixed with water, in room temperature the yeast is given perfect conditions for fermentation. The yeast takes some time to get going, but as soon as it has started it will quickly get very efficient.
Making your own starter takes about ten days. I have started the process and quit several times as I so easily forget to feed it every day. It takes no more than one minute, it’s just that I am so absent minded and easily distracted that I often don’t remember to do it. But a month or so back I managed, and then I managed to convert half of it from wheat to rye, which means I now have two working sourdough starters.
I’ll give you the step by step guide for how to making your own starter in a few days. If you live in the area and would like to have a go at sourdough baking I am very happy to share my own starter with you. Just give me a shout!