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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sourdough Day 1

Well, I am embarking on a new career- Master Baker (no jokes, please, that is a "k"). Anyway, I have decided to try and bake bread. All types. My first effort is going to be sourdough bread. I am not doing this because you can't get good bread, here. In fact there is a little bakery in Salinas that makes a great loaf of french bread for about $.70, that you just can't beat. And they make it fresh every day. I don't think you can get sourdough bread here, but the bread they do make is great. So this is not about saving money or improving quality. It is just a little hobby, that I am going to try. Plus, I understand that it is good exercise.

For those of you who do not know about sourdough bread, it is a bread that uses a natural leavening process, rather than commercial yeast. In fact the bacteria that produces a sourdough "starter" is different from store bought yeast. And it is not that hard to make (at least not with the directions I am working from). Now, I am going to be posting this as the process wears on, rather than waiting until I am finished. If I waited until I was finished and made a successful sourdough loaf, that would be one thing. But if I was unsuccessful, I probably wouldn't post that, and where would the fun be. So, I am going to document the process, and if I am successful, great- if not, it will be a good story. A friend of ours tried this last year and failed. We shall see how my experiment works out.

Sourdough starter is made from water and flour. End of story. Basically, you mix a cup of warm water and a cup of flour and let it sit and ferment, naturally. The bacteria in the air and in the flour, itself, start a colony and you "feed" it with more flour and water every day or so, taking out the excess each time. At the end of 7-14 days, you will have a little colony of natural sourdough leaving agent. You can then refrigerate the starter (feeding it every week) and use it whenever you need to make bread. Because the bacteria result from the air and flour, sourdough will be different depending on where you live. That is why the famous "San Francisco Sourdough" may be different from the sourdough bread you make. If my bread is successful, it will be called "Marindia Sourdough Bread". The story is that some starters are cultivated for years and years, handed down from generation to generation.

So tonight, I mixed up the first batch and now I will let it sit for 2 days. After that it will get a daily "feeding". I also bought some regular yeast and will be trying other types of bread as well. Stay tuned.....


Anonymous said...

Wally's Pajama Sourdough is good.

Wally said...

Whoever "Anonymous" it- you know me pretty well. All pajamas, all the time.

Anonymous said...

....well it seems like you have broken away from the "doing nothing" mode. do realize that if you can make bread dough, you can then make pizza's
...may i suggest that you also experiment with different types of flour.