There's nothing like Sourdough Bread fresh out the oven...
Fill your home with the incredible smell of fresh bread with this sourdough bread recipe, using active starter and your flour of choice – wholemeal, rye or spelt. Serve with eggs and avocado for a nutritious breakfast or cheese and marmite for a tasty savoury lunchtime indulgence.
How to make your own starter
- Use a glass jar or container and weigh 50g of strong bread flour and 50ml of water at room temperature. Stir to form a rough dough, it doesn’t need to be completely smooth, just no dry patches of flour and leave the mixture uncovered somewhere draught free in your kitchen for 24 hours.
- The following day, discard half of the mixture and add another 50g of flour and 50ml of water and stir well. Leave uncovered once again for another 24 hours.
- Repeat this process for a total of 5 days always with the jar uncovered. By this time, you will see some bubbles in the jar, and that is the indication that the yeast is developing.
- Now, for a few more days, you will need to do this process twice a day until the starter is alive and bubbling a few hours after it has been fed. This is what we call the active starter.
At this point, and if you’re not going to bake bread on a daily basis, you can keep your starter in the fridge and feed it once a week to keep it alive. A feed will be the same process that you’re used to, but now that the starter is alive and active, you want to remove three quarters and replace it with the same amount of flour and water. Rather than discarding the starter, you can use them as a base for a savoury sourdough pancake, fried gently in some oil and topped with spring onions and sesame seeds.
Some common mistakes people make when they bake sourdough is using the starter when is not fully active and there is a very simple test if you want to see if the starter is ready. It’s called 'the float test'. All you need to do is drop a spoonful into a bowl of cold water, if it floats, you can make the dough, and if it doesn’t, leave the starter uncovered a little longer until ready.
The process might seem a little long to start with but it’s extremely rewarding and it’s almost magical how just by combining flour and water and waiting a few days you can make such lovely bread. If you have family or friends, you (or them) can share their starter as this is something you will not be able to buy in any shops.