Oh sourdough, how sweet and lovely you are. From sandwiches to french toast, from Alaska to California. Some bakeries can even trace their starter back over 100 hundred years. Which brings me to my starter and the next bread in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge.
The starter process was really easy actually, and takes nothing more than time. Starting with rye flour and water, you slowly build up (and remove) a portion of the starter until the bacteria is running wild. Here are a few pictures of the process.
With the starter smelling good, I figured it was time to make the barm in preparation for the bread. The barm is like a big feeding for the starter, and after it bubbles away on the counter you can refrigerate this pile of goop for 3 days (after which you need to rebuild the barm). The sourdough recipe is nothing more than salt, flour, water and barm which makes it simple as pie. Simple as pie in the minimal sense of ingredients, but you need that wild yeast to do a heck of a lot. And for me, it didn’t do much. After what seemed like forever (better part of two day), I wasn’t getting my dough to rise and figured I would just shove it in the oven. With no oven spring, the bread required quite the bake time to get 205 in the center. After the required cool down, I sliced the first piece and things looked ok..unfortunately the next piece showed the disaster I’d already assumed would be there.
Taste wise it was good. There was a nicely developed sour profile which makes it even more of shame, as this wreck probably has more to do with my starter than the actual process and recipe. *shrug* So there we go, my first bomb in the challenge..hopefully the last.