Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Sour Dough

My first experience of making sour dough bread was ...hhmmm... interesting.  Each day I fed and watered it and wondered if I was doing it properly.  It seemed to be bubbling up well after two or three days, then it seemed to do nothing on the fourth day.  I decided that it prefered to be in the plastic mixing bowl rather than the glass bowl.  Also, I don't think there was any need to change to a clean bowl each day.  Then last night I got the 'sponge' ready but I think I made it too wet.  This morning I looked at the sponge and was amazed at how it had risen, just how it was supposed to.  However, I was right, it was a bit too wet and I had trouble getting it to stay in a loaf shape.
It spread out rather more than I'd hoped as it was baking.  Never mind, it was my first go and I'm looking forward to having some at lunch time with some soup.  The starter is now in my fridge waiting for me to have another go.  Next time I think I'll bake it in a loaf tin, then if it is a bit loose it will stay a better shape.  It is a fun way to make bread, just hope it tastes as nice as it smells.


melissa sews said...

It looks great, Ann! Sourdough bread has a tendency to spread out rather than up. That's normal. You can certainly put it in a loaf pan next time and it will rise higher.

I actually prefer it on a flat baking sheet so that it's more crusty. A pie plate would probably be perfect for keeping shape, but allowing it to spread out also. Me, I prefer the simple, rustic look of a natural loaf. Hope you liked it! :) Melissa

melissa sews said...

I just saw your comment on my site... To answer, this sourdough bread isn't light like sandwich bread or dinner rolls would be. It is a bit heavy and crusty, and somewhat moist on the inside. I used spelt, which makes a better loaf than whole wheat. I imagine it would be very dense with whole wheat, but I've never tried it. Scoring the top of the loaf also helps it rise.

I found a great site for troubleshooting and trying new recipes:

I see about 10 recipes I want to try ASAP!!! I hope your next loaf works out better. Don't give up! Sourdough bread is my favorite. :) Melissa

melissa sews said...

One last thing, changing bowls helps tremenously when it's time to wash the bowl. I once used the same bowl for 7 days and it was almost impossible to get the hardened flour off the edges of the bowl!!! And my cookbook recommends doing this to keep the 'bad organisms' from taking over. I don't think it's absolutely necessary.

And it's also normal for your starter to go through the bubbly, frothy stage, and then settle back down towards the end. :) Melissa

Peggy said...

Ann,I think I would rather buy the bread!We have a lot of small bakeries here who do specialist breads.I would put this in the same category as 'life is too short to stuff a mushroom' whereas yuo enjoy the whole process!
I would make wholemeal and soda bread because they are quick and easy