To mark the start of “Real Bread Week” (23rd Feb – 3rd Mar 2019), I did everything in my power to pass on the ‘sourdough bug’ to my 10 year old niece Olivia.
I’m not sure whether sourdough baking is more poetry or science – looking after the starter culture; autolysing the dough; the rhythms of the stretch & fold in the bulk fermentation (less aggression than a knead); the shaping; the proving; the scoring; and the eventual bake at 240 degrees with steam.
Or whether it is more history (the ancestry of your starter culture; and all those ancient organic grains – einkorn; emmer; khorasan), or more about ‘living in the now‘ (the texture; the smell; keeping to time – and of course, the taste)?
All I know is that it puts a smile on my face – and a loaf to pass on to a friend, neighbour or stranger. In that respect, and its total integrity as opposed to everything else you see going on in the formal structures of representative democracy, sourdough – and ‘Real Bread’ is one of the most political things I get my hands on right now!
Thank you for the continuing inspiration, with flair and style to Bake with Jack; Vanessa Kimbell (and her Sourdough Club & Sourdough School); Guildford Sourdough Club; The Wee Baker and so many more. Do look each of them up on Instagram – and Jack has a great YouTube channel.
The two main books I always recommend are Emmanuel Hadjiandreou’s “How To Make Sourdough“, and Vanessa Kimbell’s “The Sourdough School.” The book by Sarah Owens, “Sourdough: Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savouries and More” explores a vast array of ingredients, and is beautifully laid out too.
The absolute key is to develop yourself a time schedule – draw a chart if it helps. Each batch takes me two days. Once you know your time pattern, it gets a lot easier. And it is nothing more than flour, water and salt. The more you practice, the more you learn – and Bake with Jack’s videos are great for practical tips and answer very specific questions too.