Sourdough Goodness

Sourdough Goodness

So if you are anything like me you’ve tried sourdough and, well, failed.  If you are already a sourdough expert you will now understand why I feel the need to wax lyrical now that I have finally (finally!) managed to get it right!

I’ve spent quite a bit of time of late, reading and learning about preparing traditional foods. I will be writing more about this as time goes on but for now I’ll stick to the sourdough.  I’ve tried, in the past, to make my own sourdough culture but ended up with bread that could kill a man at 5 paces and you certainly didn’t want to risk dropping it on your foot.  Enough said.

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My extensive research lead me to the conclusion that I needed to buy a sourdough starter in order to really get things moving in the right direction, I wanted to buy from Cultures for Health as they have a great range and I love their educational videos.  Unfortunately the shipping charges to Canada were crazy so I looked elsewhere.  Luckily I found Linda at sourdoughbreads.com and she only charges $2 for shipping on her marvellous starter culture!  That’s practically as good as her driving to your house to drop it off.  Plus she is very nice and helpful and the information booklet that comes with her culture is invaluable.

Last week I started putting together my culture, fed it, loved it and generally treated it better than like one of my children.  Ahem.  And it rewarded me by springing happily and floofily to life like a happy floofy thing.  On Sunday I decided to make my first loaf and duly did so, I have to admit the results were…ok.  I was disappointed.  I decided to have another go and doubled the recipe, I was rewarded with bubbling sourdough overflow of the most magical kind.  It had finally worked.  This might have something to do with the fact that this time I actually followed the recipe properly.  Apparently that is important people, take heed.

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Due to the fact that I doubled the recipe and really underestimated the floof factor when you follow the recipe properly, I ended up with two massive sourdough loaves.  But they are (in Stephen’s words) just crunchy enough on the top, light but with just enough doughyness and all round delicious.  A sourdough triumph.  At last.

In addition to using the recipe from Linda’s booklet I am really enjoying the sourdough e-course over at Gnowflins.  Wardee, the creator of Gnowflins, has 7 e-courses all on different aspects of traditional food making; sourdough bread making, dairy processing, making cultured foods…you name it, it’s there.  Plus her style of teaching and the sheer volume of information you have access to is phenomenal.  I’m only just scraping the surface at the moment yet I feel that I’ve learned an extraordinary amount already.

So as well as making sourdough breads you could happily sleep on top of, I’ve also made my first foray into sourdough waffles, which were happily scoffed by my loving family.  Tasty, nutritious and honestly pretty easy.  I’m looking forward to much  experimentation and learning over the coming weeks (and years) as I explore growing and preparing foods in traditional ways.  Oh and, yes, there will be much traditional eating also.

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As Stephen said this morning while he made himself a sandwich from our own leftover roast chicken piled on top of homemade sourdough and slathered with tangy autumn chutney, “How lucky are we?”

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