Wednesday, April 14, 2010
My new pet
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine Fiona offered to give Lu and I some of her beloved and well established sourdough starter. I put it in a big kilner jar fed it up with flour and water, nurtured it, named it Larry and finally made my first loaf, as you can see in the pictures. Once you have a healthy and bubbly starter you can keep it in the fridge and only feed it once a week (if only all pets were so easy to maintain). For more detailed and nerdish info on how to grow your own starter (I have tried and failed) check out these websites, where you will also find loads of great recipes. When you feed your starter it you will notice that its absolutely mingin. Seriously. If you are getting it right it should be a white sloppy floppy goo that has a very odd elastic snotty texture like the slime from an 80s horror film. But white. And a smell like old beer. Bleugh.
BUT its worth it because it makes bloomin' amazing bread. And it's really not all that much effort as long as you have the time to:
A: feed your starter 8 hours before you want to start making the bread
B: have another 8 hours (overnighter) to spare for the first proof
C: have another 2 hours spare for the second proof
D: 40 minutes to bake it
so.. hardly any effort at all then....
But Fiona has told me that it really shouldn't take this long and as I still haven't quite achieved that chewy, open sourdough texture after three attempts, I figure young Larry just isn't strong enough yet. I have started to feed him more regularly in the hope of building up his strength, so I'll keep you all up to date as to when his stores of bacteria have multiplied in sufficient quantities to allow him to produce the perfect loaf. The little scamp. The quest begins.
Meanwhile, our bread consumption has gone through the roof, oops, all in he name of science....