I’ve started yet another food project. Sourdough bread!!
I think one can see the logical progress here. Milk fermentation (kefir), vegetable fermentation (sauerkraut), tea fermentation (Kombucha), so why not flour fermentation?! My husband didn’t complain much when I started the milk kefir. Just when I’m processing a new batch. Otherwise he likes the various kefir cheeses I make for him. And he didn’t really complain at all about the Kombucha. The vegetables, well, that’s a whole other story. He does not like the smell of any of the ones I’ve made so far and I try to keep away from him when I’m eating them as well. But the sourdough. . .
I could cut to the end and say how great he thinks it is now. But let me tell you, getting through that initial phase of rather smelliness was hard. I started with what I thought was correct. 50% flour and 50% filtered water. Only I was using the American way of measuring things. So I added 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. That is not 50/50. After a few days of that, and it doing really bad, I looked up more information on YouTube, and found instructions by Teresa. That is when I learned to weigh my ingredients!
So, following her instructions, I discarded about half of my starter, and added 60 grams of flour and water. I think it was around that time that I joined the Facebook group as well. Reading their posts and seeing their baked items was (is) inspiring! I read one post where someone named their starter Fernandough. I thought that was the cutest thing, and did the same. After a couple of days, it hit that nasty smelling stage. I actually received a call at work from my husband asking me if he could *please* move Horatio to some other room. He can’t even go into the kitchen with him in there!! That did two things. First, it set the name of my starter to Horatio. And second, I had to move him up to my art room and take care of him daily until that nasty part was over.
Fast forward a few days, and I tried making my own bread. It didn’t go over well. I didn’t quite understand the stretch and fold technique (and the recipe I tried said I didn’t have to actually), and I didn’t let it bulk ferment for very long at all. I did set my oven to 500 degrees to start and then cooked my bread on a pizza stone. But it flopped. Or more accurately, it never rose.
Not to be deterred, I went back to the internet and found the classes by Teresa. I continued to feed Horatio (who is now back in the kitchen), and went through the first lessons on sourdough bread. After watching and reading them once, I sat down on the weekend and went through them carefully while making my own loaf. I’m proud to say that I came out with the loaf pictured above!