Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Sourdough Adventuring....

My sour dough pet, looking nice and frothy and healthy!


Today I thought I'd show you my recent dabbling in sourdough baking, I am very much a novice, but it is an enjoyable adventure nurturing a little sourdough pet.  
I have been wanting to have a go at sourdough bread for some time, I bought a great book a couple of years ago and had been meaning to get a sourdough starter going but was a bit afraid I'd kill it!
So when my boss gifted me a little bucket of established starter a few weeks ago, I thought now is the time to get into it!  It helped that it came from a lovely sourdough bakery in the city somewhere, so I knew that this starter had made some great  bread in the past, and I should be able to do it too!

I have been keeping it well fed and it has been a good little starter and doing all the right things for me.

Here are my first 3 balls of sourdough.  I used the basic sourdough recipe from  'Bourke Street Bakery'   by Paul Allam and David McGuinness. (I have also been reading up a bit on the internet, there is tonnes of info out there.) It is a very thorough recipe for a beginner like me, well explained with lots of instructions.  The only thing I did differently was that I combined the water component of the recipe and half the flour to the starter, mixed it together and let it sit for 1hr and bubble up a bit to make a 'sponge', then I added the rest of the flour and proceeded as per the recipe.

I have to say, this type of baking is not fast!  Definitely slow food here!
But a very enjoyable way to make bread, highly recommend it!

One thing the book said can be a problem for home bakers is finding a humid, warm environment for the final prove.  I think I have a really effective solution, I am sure I am not the first to think of it, but I am going to tell you anyway!  I had a couple of polystyrene boxes they package broccoli in, with tight fitting lids, (they are quite insulating), so I got one and put a couple of kettles worth of boiling water in the bottom, stuck a couple of upturned bowls in it so my tin was out of the water, put the bread tin in it (perfect fit) and stuck the lid on.  The steam from the water was trapped, creating a lovely warm humid environment for my bread to rise in.! 
That box made a great prover!

Here are the loaves just out of the oven, that crust was really crunchy, hard and crusty, very delicious!

We couldn't wait to cut it and start scoffing our warm bread!  

As you can see the sourdough starter did a great job of raising our bread, this looks like bread I make with normal yeast, and it is such a lovely living process!

So thank you little pet starter, you are amazing!

I am looking forward to making other interesting bread, so stay tuned !

How is your weekend going?
 Are you doing fun things?
Talk soon, bye!


  1. love bread a lot!!!
    xxx Alessandra

  2. Ooh, your bread looks delish! I'm also baking bread this weekend - of the gluten-free kind, though. And, of course, obsessing over colours for the stripey blanket! Have a lovely weekend, and enjoy that bread!

  3. Yum, that looks picture perfect Jules......
    Beautiful golden crust and what a great idea to use the broccoli box to prove them in.
    I've been out in the garden today weeding away and enjoying the beautiful weather. Bit of a cool breeze blowing at times.
    Was good to do battle with some weeds and win!!
    About to start tea and using our first lot of home grown Spinach.......
    Enjoy your weekend,

    Claire :}

  4. Those loaves look great! You've got me thinking about gluten-free sourdough bread ... that must be possible. I'm off to google it now!

  5. Your bread looks great! Love the idea for the broccoli boxes, can't wait to try it. Been making a lot of sourdough waffles lately, but after looking at your bread I'm going to bake some up too.

  6. Mmmmm. Those loaves look yummy. Nothing like a thick slice of fresh, warm bread with lashings of butter. Drool!

    Ruby x

  7. Oh yum! Well done you! I was given a starter and my first ever loaf was them a sourdough a couple of weeks ago! Loved it!

  8. I love fresh sourdough bread. Yours looks amazing!

  9. I've been meaning to try this for a while but always been a bit anxious - your blogpost has inspired me to give it a go - thank you!

  10. Hello Jules
    That bread looks like bread.....and fresh yummy bread too! I bet you had the most delicious smell of freshly baked bread whiffing through your house...mmmmm I love that smell!

    Great post

    Amanda :-)

  11. Beautiful looking loaves. I was looking up your cat tutorial and got side tracked with all your other lovely posts.
    Sourdough is such a wonderful beast to get caught up in. Endless possibilities to make. Another option to create the humidity, is just pop a plastic shopping bag over your tin/tray and into a warm spot as well.

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  13. Wow, your bread looks lovely. Sourdough is one of those things I have always wanted to try but just never got round to


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