The only time we had bread in the house was when guests stayed over. This changed when a fellow foodie asked if i wanted some starter in November (2020) to start my sourdough bread journey.
I am a bit late to the game considering so many jumped on the sourdough baking craze during lockdown v1. However better late than never. I wrote this post just to share my experience and what has worked for me the past few months and what may help you if you are new to sourdough.
My go to for recipes and techniques
Fast forward to February 2021 and we have a different sourdough bake at least every two weeks.
All the videos I saw online were daunting and made me confused. My first loaf was pretty chewy and my second was a bit better but not to the standard I was expecting considering all the hard work going into the loaf.
I then discovered Lavender and Lovage and my bread game changed. The steps for a basic sourdough loaf were clear and the bread turned out great. The loafs got lighter and formed a lovely crust.
Thanks to other fellow foodies I listened to a recent clubhouse chat on bread with Vanessa Kimbell . I learnt so much in the 15 minutes I was listening to her than the hours I have spent on sourdough videos. Vanessa runs a sourdough school which I hope to visit one day. For now I have purchased her books.
The Real Bread Campaign is another place for great tried and tested recipes.
A bit about what I have learnt
I never knew why people got sourdough starter discard because I used all my starter and just add 40g flour and 40g water to refresh it. Now I know why my starter never bubbled. I was diluting it all the time. That is why there are so many variations of refreshing the starter, most using less starter and more water and flour.
Other tips that have worked for me:
- You don’t need the fancy equipment. To prove overnight I just used a tea towel in a plastic tub
- I wiggle my dough before I fold it to give it that extra stretch
- Using wet hands when working on the dough helps and makes it less sticky
- I use a le creuset casserole dish and (and an equivalent I bought from TK Maxx) . I did the whole water in an oven thing but that worked out a disaster so don’t do that anymore.
- I don’t keep exact times for a fold. It varies between 60-120 minutes
My favourite loaf is the Red Leicester and garlic one. Here are some other bakes have been Stollen, Rose Tea Sticky Buns, Double Chocolate Loaf , Mediterranean Loaf and Cheese and Onion scones.
Can’t wait to try different flour in the bread. At the moment it has just been strong white bread. If you have any great recipes and tips, I would love to know. You can send me a direct message on Instagram.