There’s been lots of sourdough buzz going around during lockdown, and I’m completely on board.
Sourdough baking is easy, but it requires care and patience. If you have some extra time on your hands, this is your chance to try something creative that leaves you with fresh bread for your efforts – dreamy!
You can find some great and simple recipes online for baking with a sourdough starter.
Here are a few of my tips to help you on your way:
1) Write it all down. Getting your timings right can be key to a great loaf, so make a note of the time when you achieve each step in your recipe. You can save a little headspace by relying on your pen and paper.
2) Your Mama (the living sourdough stater) doesn’t like too much heat. Although a warmer room will accelerate growth, too hot and your starter will suffer. Best to keep Mama away from radiators and airing cupboards.
3) Bake your loaf with steam. Adding a little water in a tray during the first bit of baking will give you a much better crust structure. Place the tray at the bottom of the oven and then remove it about half way through your cooking time.
4) Practice! The more often you bake, the healthier your Mama will become and the more you’ll get that hang of creating a brilliant loaf. Even if it’s not spot-on at first, fresh bread is still a pleasure however it looks, just go for it! Keep practicing and you’ll quickly learn which techniques work best for you, and the results will show in your baking soon enough.
5) Feed your Mama often. Even if you aren’t planning to bake regularly, keep your starter healthy by feeding it every few days. Once it grows from the feeding, you can always discard half, or even give some of your Mama to a friend (your loaves will be part of the same family tree!)