Monday, 12 March 2012

So, back to Sour Dough and starting your own starter

I stopped making  sour dough bread a couple of years ago. Whcih i felt bad about, i dont like to kill things that are struggling  with life, that being  my sour dough starter that i got from a friend in  the Borders and who had, it turn, got his from France and could easily have been hundreds of years old. And i let it die, or worse threw it down the sink. Maybe it still lives somewhere in  the sewage pipes of Olde Edinburgh.

But, i was the only one who ate it, the kids were not impressed by it even though it makes wonderful toast. And bread and butter are not great for anyones waistline. Sadly, bread and butter ( and cheese and wine and salami and grapes) pretty well cover my favourite foods. I do love a picnic

But i decided a few weeks ago to start making  bread again - sour dough at that.

But i had no started so i read up  about making  my own here over at SoughDourHome. And generally by halfing  the measurements and kind of following  the instructions, and then really not botering  to follow the instructions - i made asour dough starter! And it works!

I have learnt to put in  less water, as it separates and smells rancid. I have learnt to feed it with teaspoons of whatever flour i can get my hands on - rye is especially good, but so is wholemeal.

And i do cold whatchamacallit - leaving  the bread to rise - overnight. It does make for very sour sour dough bread. (which i don't mind but is proving  even more unpopular. Oh, is the word 'proving' not rise?

So, now i am experimenting  with feeding  the sour dough with less water, to make it thicker, putting  more into the flour, but going  for a shorter rise, in  the hopes that this makes it less sour.

We shall see.

Update: Stopped Proving (first )rise after 8 hours and put in  cold oven set to 180 (fan oven) with a dish of water in  the bottom  of the oven. It hadn't risen a lot - maybe doubled in  size, but it held it together in  the oven and 25 minutes later i pulled it out and it looked lovely. This evening  both children asked for some, and then, miracle of miracles, aske for more. It is slightly less sour than my overnight risers. I probably should have cooked it longer.

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