Wednesday, December 26, 2007

In Search of Sourdough

As some of you may remember from my very first post, soon after I got married I began to bake my own bread. Not for everyday, but more for the confidence it gave me in the kitchen. So many people are intimidated by bread, I figured I would set out and accomplish the hard stuff first. And it was fun!

What you won't read there, because I didn't share it at the time, was that my excitement about homemade bread fizzled after a few attempts at sourdough bread which I considered failures at the time. The first loaf was decent bread, but had no sour flavor. I was dissapointed. The next time I let the starter proof extra long to make sure and have that sour flavor. I overdid it. We remember that loaf as, "the bread of fermentation." It was awful! I tossed my starter and moved on to sprouting.

But now I am back to bread baking. The reason being, over the past two trips to the grocery store we have purchased no less than five loaves of sourdough bread, and a couple packages of sourdough sandwich rolls. This began to seem like excess. (There are only the two of us, afterall! Dioji isn't eating sourdough.) I thought to myself for the hundredth time, "Wouldn't it be nice if I could bake this at home for us instead of spending money on it being baked and packaged?" Indeed.

I got back online and started researching. In addition to some recipes I can hardly wait to try out, I found some good articles listing the health benefits of eating naturally leavened bread (without commercial yeast).

In case this sparks your interest too, I will be posting on how to make your own starter next. ("Starter" is the batter that the wild yeast lives in [pictured above]. It is the key ingredient in sourdough baking.)

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