Sourdough bread is a labor of love ♥
It's not something that can be whipped up overnight. That is both very satisfying and frustrating at the same time. Looking at sourdough recipes they all have certain elements that are the same, and some slight variations. For my first time at it, I thought I did pretty well. I actually got a loaf of bread out of my starter, so that's an accomplishment right there!
Here she is. I started with 1/3 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water in a jar. I fed it these same measurements every day for seven days. You want the consistency to be like a thick pancake batter, so if you have to add a dash more flour or a little more water to make it work, that's ok. I think back to our grandmothers and great grandmothers and they didn't seem to worry or fuss about beings so specific, so neither do I : )
I also read that the jar does not have to be sealed, only lightly placed on top so oxygen can still get in.
It was slow getting started, but once I found the warmest spot in my house she began to thrive. I learned temperature is very important and sourdough likes it warm & cozy ♥
Bubbly and happy, she grew and grew. You want bubbles to know it's alive! ♥
I eventually had to transfer the starter out of this mason jar and into a glass canister.
After 7 days it was time to make bread. I used a 1/2 cup of the starter in my recipe, along with 3 cups of flour, water, and salt. This is the dough after the first rise (overnight).
And here is the finished product. My first loaf of sourdough bread!
Reviews were mixed. It was tasty and crusty on the outside. John and Rob loved it. I would have liked it with a bit more of a "sour" taste, which I'm not sure how to achieve. Maybe feeding my starter longer so it can ferment more? It was also a little dense. I would have preferred it a bit more light and puffy, but it was still delicious!
This is the method I used for baking. It comes from Jill at The Prairie Homestead on YouTube. It was very easy! Jill's recipe called for the "stretch and fold" technique only one time. I've seen other recipes where it's done 3 or 4 times. I think my bread would have been less dense if I had taken the time to do that. I also noticed other recipes use bread flour instead of all purpose. I'm wondering what difference that makes.
*mental note for next time!*
It really is a process and I think it's going to take a few times for me to really get the hang of. I'm excited to try different variations and see what happens.
If you've ever made sourdough and have any tips for me, please send them my way!
For now I stopped feeding my starter because I have so much of it. It's resting comfortably in the fridge until I'm ready to pull it out and activate it. This weekend I'm going to try my hand at sourdough English muffins and another loaf of bread.
I'll let you how it goes! Fingers crossed! ♥
Here's something fun I did. Homemade croutons!
I took a few slices of the bread, cut them into large cubes, and toasted them in a pan with olive oil, S&P, and garlic powder.
I remember reading in one of my Susan Branch cookbooks that she does this and uses little star cut outs. I wasn't that fancy, but they were a delicious topping to our soup that night ♥
One thing I know for sure is that we love bread around here and I've never met a loaf I didn't love : )
Have a great day friends!! xoxo