You may recall my previous post about sourdough and my first experiences using the sourdough starter that Selma sent me, derived from Celia’s starter all the way away in Australia. These starters have given birth to endless loaves and experiments all over the world and a whole new community of sourdough bread bakers 🙂
As is my wont, however, I wanted to find out how to create my own starter, and make a sourdough loaf completely and utterly from scratch in my kitchen (I do still have some dried ‘Star’, the starter I created from Selma’s dried starter, in my fridge as a back up, I’m not completely nuts!!) so I got busy looking up methods and had a go…
This is what I found on kitchn.com and the instructions I followed for the first starter I made; it was amazing, just mixing flour and water and leaving the mixture to draw yeast from the air in my own kitchen. I got so excited everyday as I fed it and watched the bubbles develop: so let me introduce Bodicea, my very own starter..
..she created a very different looking loaf from the ones I baked with Star. The dough did not grow as much during the proving, and the bubbles that did grow were a lot bigger. I had to knead the dough more often to encourage the proving, and when I baked it, the top looked like the surface of the moon, as if covered in craters..
The boys tucked in though, and ate the whole loaf, very happily, which filled my heart with joy 🙂
I decided to make another starter from slightly different instructions to see if it would behave differently when I came to bake a loaf..Bodicea the second grew happily, just like her predecessor, and again the dough performed as before, the dough did not grow huge during proving, but it still baked well and created a good, holey, loaf..
You can see in the first photo below how the dough proved with big bubbles..
I have to assume, therefore, that this is the type of yeast that floats around my kitchen (I try not to think about just how weird that sounds!) and that this is how loaves will develop with my homemade starters – and whilst the boys eat their way through every loaf I bake, I have to assume I’m doing something right.
Having had a kitchen full of sourdough starter recently, I’ve also made all sorts of pancakes with it rather than waste it – and they’ve all been eaten up too!
I recently watched a cookery show that explained the history of sourdough bread: it was first created in Egypt, in fact, sourdough is the oldest form of making risen bread using yeast, wild yeast as it is in sourdough. Prior to this discovery, the world only ate flat breads; so I have been creating the oldest form of bread in my own kitchen! Wow! Isn’t that cool??
I’ve now got another starter experiment brewing in my kitchen so I’ll let you know how Bodicea III performs 🙂