Posted in Recipes
Sourdough Bread, Round 1
Nothing is more satisfying than your own loaf of bread.
Baking bread is a lot like growing something from seed. It took me nine days to make my first loaf of bread from start to finish. Extrapolated from Tartine’s methods, a master bread maker, and a territory I had yet to enter in the kitchen. Taking on the challenge was a self-initiation. A passage to some next level adulthood or culinary wizardry. But if this bread failed, then my life is going to hell for sure. The result would be a symbol of the ground I stood on.
After 8 days in, I had only finished my sourdough starter. A starter is the fermenting process that is what makes sourdough, and it also creates the natural wild yeast. The starter is your everything in baking bread, and master bakers have had their starters for a long time and nickname them. I have been nurturing this starter as if it was a newborn baby, feeding it ( flour and water) every day twice a day, watching it closely as it gets in the fermentation process, and becomes filled with wild yeast.
On the 9th day, it was finally ready to become bread. At that point, you turn your starter into levain — which is added to flour, water, and salt and then your dough begins. You can find a real step by step which I used from The Perfect Loaf.
My interaction with the newly formed dough, was probably what intimidated me the most after watching these master bakers, but it went pretty well. I felt in control and understood the techniques that I had been studying for the previous 8 days. Let it rest in the fridge the night before baking.
That morning, on day 9, I was ready to bake the dough and considerably nervous about the outcome. I baked two loaves, one came out wet and I knew that the dough was not as strong as the other, plus I used a different type of oven. The other came our nearly perfect, a sprouted sourdough with a great a crust that I was lusting over, crumb, and bounds of flavor. I mean to be honest everyone in the family loved it, even the worst critics.
A big part of this project was finding and using the healthiest ingredients I could get ahold of and since most sourdoughs don’t use super sprouted flours, I had nothing to use as an example. I sourced an organic super sprouted whole grain from Lindley Mills, a 10 generation family owned organic mill in North Carolina. This super sprouted flour is divine and the sourdough is so delicious. I had no gluten sensitivity to it either. The bread lasted several days n the kitchen, much longer than other artisan bread I have purchased.