I didn't like bread. The last 20 years, I used to describe bread as glutenous, soggy, chewy piece full of additives people eat instead of coming up with something tastier and healthier. Plus, bread was always combined with even more unhealthy ingredients: salami, cheap cheese or sugary spreads. When I removed it from my diet, it felt like a superpower; I could do what most people around me couldn't: live without bread.
Now and then I would eat a piece of bread, just to confirm that I'm not missing anything. And mostly I didn't. But, sometimes I would run into some great piece of bread, usually combined with something like grains, garlic, butter or cheese that showed me that bread can be delicious if you make it with care and not just for mass production and low price.
I tried to make some bread myself, and it was somewhat better than the store-bought, but there was always this starter part that I had to buy from the same store, which was again mass-produced somewhere. So, when I found out about home made sourdough starter the puzzle was complete.
I learned everything I could about sourdough starters and finally did the complete process, from just some flour and water in the jar to the freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread. The final result was spectacular! Fresh bread had distinct, slightly sour taste, smelled divine and had fluffy and elastic structure with just enough pockets of air. We ate the whole loaf in a day. Part of it just with salt and butter, then some with avocado and garlic.
Sourdough starter process
The basic process is simple:
- Day 1: Mix 50g of flour with 50g of water. Put somewhere on room temperature.
- For the next 7 days: Mix 50g of old mixture, 50g of fresh flour and 60g of water. That's called feeding. Throw away the unused part of the old mixture.
- After 7 days you can start using leftover starter for anything you want
- If you don't need bread daily, after feeding you can put the mixture in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. When you take it back out it will just continue where it left off.
- Find the jar without a screw-on lid as these are hell to clean from dried dough. Jars with wooded lids are enough. I found it in IKEA.
- I found out that my room temperature of 20C is too cold for sourdough to develop properly. So I needed warmer spot. I used to put a jar of hot water in the oven and put the mixture beside it which gave the results but I had to add the hot water too often so I needed a better idea. And then I found it: my UPS device is just the temperature I wanted: warm but not too much and always at the constant temperature. Check out this rig: