2015 : the year of sourdough..

  I’ve been going round and round thinking of how to end the year here on my blog, and I realised that there is only one possible way: with sourdough!  

 2015 is the year that I was introduced to sourdough bread and the year has been punctuated with many and various loaves, high and lows, and always learning. 

I baked my first sourdough loaf on 20th January, having been sent some sourdough starter and comprehensive instructions by the lovely Selma. I’d never even tried sourdough bread, but had been totally drawn to the idea of baking it after seeing Selma’s loaves and hearing her enthusiasm for the process and outcome, she held my hand all the way through that first exploration, and for the following months as I got to grips with this new way of baking bread. And I’ve loved it!! I’m so grateful to Selma, and Celia, for bringing this into my world, it’s been great fun. 

I’ve recently been experimenting with different mixes of flours: kamut flour, spelt flour, rye flour, plus adding different seeds. I’ve made a couple of loaves recently including roasted pumpkin seeds which have been really good!  

  Today I began the last day of the year by heating the oven at 6.30am and baking a dough that’s been proving in a banneton in the fridge for the last week. It’s a mix of kamut flour, spelt flour and strong white flour.. 

    
 I baked it in my enamel roaster, as originally guided by Selma and Celia, and it came out perfectly.. 

    
   What better way to end the year? And to remember Selma..the first half of this year is full of wonderful memories of lovely Selma, and everything we shared; the second half of the year is full things I wish I could have continued to share with her and of missing her 😦

I’ve loved learning to bake sourdough and watching my son enjoy eating it is a real gift, and so I hope you understand why I chose to end the year with my bread..it’s a gift that Selma gave me that will last for many years to come. 

I also wanted to have something special to share with this week’s amazing 100th Fiesta Friday blog party. 100!!! And it’s been going for two years! Wow! Such an a amazing achievement. The #100 party has been going on over the last week and is being hosted not only by its wonderful creator Angie but also Ginger, Suzanne, Judi and Mollie. Please pop over and see what everyone is bringing to the celebration. 

For now, I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year, with best wishes for a wonderful 2016, and so many thanks for all of your support this year xx 

 

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107 thoughts on “2015 : the year of sourdough..

  1. cookingwithauntjuju.com

    Beautiful loaf of bread Elaine – I knew you would be thinking “sourdough” and “Selma” just like I did to finish off 2015. The walnut lame is so pretty against your loaf (love mine too, wonder if Selma every bought one?) – perfect recipe to share with Fiesta Friday #100. Happy New Year πŸ™‚

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  2. chefjulianna

    Whoa, Elaine! These loaves look beyond amazing! It looks like your talent and perseverance have paid off! I can just smell the flavours of your bread wafting through my kitchen right now. Angie is going to send me some starter and I hope to give this a try this year as well. Maybe we can compare notes? All the best for a happy and healthy 2016! πŸ˜€

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  3. Loretta

    Wow and wow! An amazing line-up of your sourdough creations Elaine. You did Selma proud. I remember her asking me if I had wanted a starter, but I declined at the time. I still think of her so often even though we never did meet in the flesh so to speak. I wonder how Jake is doing. Anyway, I won’t get too sentimental, but cheers to you for the New Year. I first heard of sourdough bread on one of my visits to San Francisco about 25 or so years ago. I wonder where it originated.

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    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      I did see on a cookery programme once that sourdough is the most ancient form of yeasted bread. I think they discovered wild yeast in Egypt or somewhere in that region many years, if not centuries, ago, and it from then that the first risen bread was baked. Before that, the whole world made and ate flatbread.

      I think of Selma often too, there’s things I often wish I could tell her. But no, let’s not get morbid, let’s welcome a new year and look forward to more sharing next year xx

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  4. Anita Kushwaha

    I’m so impressed! The loaves look lovely and airy and such a beautiful crust too. I can imagine how tasty they are. Baking bread is on my list of culinary adventures to dive into sometime, although I’m not sure when. I can admit to being a bit intimidated by the prospect! And what a lovely and touching tribute to Selma. I think it’s perfect. A very Happy New Year to you and yours and I can’t wait to see what you have cooking up in 2016! πŸ™‚ xo

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      1. Anita Kushwaha

        Wow, I can imagine! My sister is the bread baker in our family and she is hooked! She baked us a lovely loaf for Christmas and there was something so wholesome and special about it. Hopefully one day soon I’ll dive into the dough too, ha ha. πŸ˜‰

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      2. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        That sounds wonderful! There’s something about baking your own bread…using your hands, watching something you’ve created grow and become something wonderful…it’s good for the soul x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Anita Kushwaha

        I totally agree and it’s such a special thing to share with the people you care about. I got my sister the Oh She Glows recipe book for her birthday, which was just a couple of days ago, and I’m hoping there are some good bread recipes in there. Do you know that book? It’s all veggie and vegan recipes. There’s a great website too. Hope you’re having a great New Year’s! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. apuginthekitchen

    Happy New Year Elaine, it seems your bread gets better and better with each loaf you make. This looks absolutely perfect, everything about it is beautiful. There is nothing like a loaf of homemade bread Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year for you and your wonderful family, Look forward to seeing your blog posts and photo’s, it brightens my day,

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  6. sallybr

    Cannot quite think of a better way to wrap up the year! Beautiful loaves, great slash technique… perfect!

    Looking forward to many more beauties coming out of your oven!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, from snowy Colorado….

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  7. Master of Something Yet

    Oh, I’m so glad you chose to highlight the sourdough! Just a couple of days ago I had the sudden thought, ooh, it’s school holidays, I should have a crack at a sourdough starter. πŸ™‚ So you’ve given me a little push to get that one going while I’m whiling away the hours at home with injuries and it’s too hot to do anything outside anyway. πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year!

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      1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        Okay…in which case, you should be aware that the weather could affect it. Trying to bake sourdough when it’s hot is quite a challenge..it’s worth you reading up on it whilst you’re sitting around..;)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Master of Something Yet

        Ah. Good to know. Hm. Figures that just when I have the right time, I have the wrong weather. :/

        What about San Francisco sourdough? According to my book “The climate of San Francisco, with its warmth and humidity, is particularly conducive to sourdough breads”. I can definitely do warm and kind of humid. πŸ™‚

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      3. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m just saying it’s worth reading about how weather and heat and humidity can affect baking sourdough. You just need to be aware of what tweaks to make πŸ™‚

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      4. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        I attempted to make a sourdough loaf one day last summer (THE hottest day the UK has ever had in history!!!!) and it over proved and then flopped. Basically the heat had made it prove faster and I didn’t know that that would happen or that it was worth slightly amending the mix..I do now!

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  8. Ginger

    I absolutely adore your array of breads – what an amazing year 2015 has been for – and with! – you! I am looking forward to your next exploits and can’t wit what you’re going to get stuck in next. Hopefully we’ll manage to meet up for real sometime soon!
    Have a wonderful 2016!
    Ginger xx

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      1. Ginger

        I know how you feel, though – I think it;s the long wait and the vagaries of the proofing that make it such an exciting adventure! And create that sense of achievement when it turns out well.
        Beats skydiving πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ginger

        Not really – I’m just more desperate for bread ;-). You are so creative, always trying out new things and pushing boundaries, I really admire that! I mean, kamut?!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Julie is Hostess At Heart

    Wow Elaine, that loaf of bread makes my bread baking heart go pitter patter. That baby is a thing of beauty. I got a new banneton basket for Christmas and only hope that I can create something like this. I just bought some spelt yesterday and can’t wait to try it.

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      1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        It’s lovely flour, the flavour and aroma is fab and it makes great bread. The key is that the dough can become very sloppy – when you first put the dough together it can be quite tight, then it loosens up a lot. It proves quickly though so you can bake it sooner than other flours.
        I hope this is helpful – probably best to google it πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  10. FrugalHausfrau

    A gift of bread is a traditional New Year’s gift in some areas of the world, and you have gifted the world with your bread! Bittersweet, I know, but I like knowing that Selma sent her starter so many places and so many people have carried it forward!

    Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday, Elaine, and have a very happy New Year! I’ll be pinning to our FF board just in case no one else has yet! πŸ™‚

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  11. Angie

    Despite not having said anything on my blog, I have in fact been baking and experimenting with Twinkle. So many things have come out of that little packet Selma sent me. And I have even recently sent Julianna Twinkle 2.0. I need to start documenting my sourdough recipes! Your bread looks oh so lovely! Missing Selma now 😦 😦

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    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I think the most important thing is to really follow the instructions & recipes as you learn. I would also throw a warning in there though as there is a LOT of information about sourdough when you start looking, you can get overwhelmed, and you can feel like it’s such an art that it’s impossible to grasp…but it really isn’t. At the end of the day, it’s bread! And if a loaf doesn’t work out as you hoped, you can just start again πŸ™‚
      If you’d like a copy of the original guidelines that Selma sent me last year, I’d be happy yo email them to you?

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  12. Master of Something Yet

    After days spent creating a starter and two failed loaf attempts, I have come to the conclusion that sourdough baking is not a skill I will master. (People keep trying to suggest my blog title is a misnomer. It really isn’t.) Patience is not a virtue I possess (hence being a Jack of All Trades) and sourdough seems to require an inordinate amount of patience. Also time. Also bread flour.

    So, I shall return to my boring run-of-the-mill-but-still-tasty standard bread-making and admire your sourdough efforts from afar. And maybe buy the occasional loaf from Irrewarra. πŸ™‚

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      1. Master of Something Yet

        While I was visiting your latest post, I thought I would pop back here and let you know I haven’t given up. I managed a better loaf yesterday but I cheated. I popped a bit of dried yeast in with the other ingredients because my starter is still not flash. The obvious first fixable solution would be to buy a functional starter instead of trying to make my own but I’ve never been one to do things the easy way. It’s also possible that the lack of filtered water is a factor but I just can’t bring myself to add that particular expense into the mix (particularly given I can’t prove that the water is a problem).

        Anyway, on the plus side, I have teenage boys so even the disasters still get eaten! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        I’m so glad you’ve tried again and that it was better πŸ™‚
        What I would say is that when I made my own starters I also struggled to create good loaves initially then Selma told me that starters get better and stronger with age. I also don’t use filtered water, I started off using water that I had boiled and cooled and then tried tap water and found no difference.

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      3. Master of Something Yet

        That’s good to know about the water. I was loathe to spend money that might turn out to be unnecessary. And also good news about the starter. I was hoping that might be the case so I’ve been persisting with it.

        I use a baker’s flour from Defiance. I did read recently that Laucke’s is better so I’ll get that next time.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Sticking To The Sourdough | Master of Something I'm Yet To Discover

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