Saturday, 20 April 2013

And So to Bread...

Well, 9 days in and our starter is toast!

Friday morning, I was about to launch into a loaf and got cold feet.  The starter looked reasonably bubbly but I wasn't sure, so decided to give it one more feed.  Removing half and about to discard it, it occured to me that it was an awful waste and that anyway, I may get to making the loaf and realise that I didnt have enough starter to bake with and have some left to keep the starter going. Some of those reading may at this point recognise the train of thought that leads to a garage full of junk and not being able to find anything!
Day 9 - Morning Split & FedDay 9 - Lunchtime - both bubbling!

So rather than throw it away, I got another jar out of the cupboard and fed the discard 100g flour, 100ml water.  I also fed the other one so we now have two starters.  One in reserve. By lunchtime both were bubbling away like ... well ... fermeting sourdough. Time to bake!
I have scaled down Paul Holliwoods first recipe to 150g Starter, 250g Strong White Flour, 115ml Tepid water and 5g Salt.  All of that went into the bowl, mixed up and kneaded.  A very sticky dough so took PH's advice and used olive oil on the worktop to stop it sticking.  Popped it into a clean bowl (greased with olive oil) and left with cling film over the top to prove for 3 hrs.  In the meantime I stoked up the Esse ready to bake.
Day 9 - 150g StarterDay 9 - 250g FlourDay 9 - Ready to Nead
Day 9 - neaded and bowledDay 9 - Stoke up time!Day 8 - 3hrs later risen for the 1st time
I was very relieved to see that the dough had risen and so "knocked it back". The dough is very sticky and we really should be using a fancy wicker "banneton". The Edwards household doesnt stretch to one of those so oiled and floured a smaller bowl. Three hours later the dough had risen again. Time was getting on, it was about 11:00pm and I had realised that I had forgotten to put some more wood on the fire so the oven was only at about 170C. However, I had got this far so I thought, go for it. The dough stuck to the bowl a bit but with a some gentle coaxing I got it onto the tray, ran a stanley knife over the top, dusted with flour, and in it went.
Day 9 - Risen Again!Day 9- Onto the floured trayDay 9 - 45mins later - a loaf!
45 minutes later I had my first sourdough loaf. The smell was quite authentic, vaguely vinagery warm bready smell. So onto the rack to cool ready for breakfast.
Day 10 -Slices well, good texture but a bit enemicDay 10-Sourdough Toast
It doesnt quite have the rise that I was hoping for, possibly owing to the lack of banneton and the crust should have been crisper and browner, probably because of the lower temperature but the toast was wonderful with a large dollop of last year's honey. Job Done!

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