Sourdough – first (and last?) time

I woke up early this morning, excited to bake my first loaves of sourdough bread. By the time my daughter came down to start making lunch, I was disappointed instead.

The first loaf out of the oven was leaden and tasted like the bread out of the machine when I’ve forgotten to add yeast.

Sourdough mother

It takes approximately five days to make a sourdough mother and I thought the yeast had really got going when I made the levain, which is the base of the dough which actually makes the loaf.

The levain, which is flour and some of the sourdough mother, is left for several hours till a teaspoon of the mixture floats in tepid water.

This is the point where the first attempt at sourdough bread probably went south. The teaspoon of levain did not float, so I should have left it longer and then made the loaf on Monday. However, if the levain hadn’t been ready today, it would have pushed the loaf-making into a working day, by the time the proving stage of 18 hours had been added.

In other words, sourdough bread takes a long time to make and therefore a lot of juggling may be required in order to fit it into a busy lifestyle. So, as things stand, it is more likely we will buy sourdough bread and stick with a standard loaf made at home.

The good news is that the Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes which my daughter made for lunch were great. And whilst the oven is on, I am making rye bread rolls.

The Everhot oven takes longer to cook/bake items than conventional recipes suggest but after adapting for the breadmaker and slow cooker, we will get used to the new regime. Hopefully, the bread rolls will turn out as bread should rather than the brick that tends to come out of the breadmaker.

Rye bread rolls proving by the warm oven.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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4 Responses to Sourdough – first (and last?) time

  1. Don’t give up; I’m sure it will be worth it!

  2. Going Batty in Wales says:

    What a shame! I too made a starter but it was very active and soon went rather too sour for my taste so I have gone back to using dried yeast. Other people seem to have no trouble at all! There are so many variables with a yeast culture especially when it uses whatever spores are floating around your kitchen that it is bound to be tricky!

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