Sourdough Fever: Making Bread, Pancakes & More!
March 15, 2014
I'm starting to go crazy with sourdough baking.
(But the 2 pics I'm showing aren't of my bread or cakes -- I just grabbed them from the webs as sample pics of sourdough action.)
I'm thinking that it's super-easy. Like homebrew beer-making. "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew" -- that's the motto of the classic homebrew beer book. I caught a similar vibe reading a bake-your-own-sourdough-bread blog where the author kept saying "You can measure, etc., but ... it doesn't matter." ..."It doesn't matter" kept popping up. Basically: you can fool around with all the aspects and you'll get good bread. You can adjust to get it just the way you like it.
I also saw a blog that said you can save a dollar a loaf baking your own bread. Huh? What planet are they on? Good sourdough costs about $5 a loaf at the store. I pay about 25 cents for the flour and salt. And it takes about 15 minutes of effort.
Also, souring and fermenting things is hot these days. Why? Of course it's been hot for millennia in some places. But why? Well, word is that it hampers bad stuff and boosts good stuff. Doubly good for you. Oh, and IT TASTES GREAT! People have loved great tasting food since THEY WERE PEOPLE!
I'm already starting to branch into whole wheat and rye and I'll head over to buckwheat shortly.
You just add flour and salt to half your starter, mix it, let it sit overnight covered then knead the next day and let rise a few more hours then bake. Google it. Every blog has its recipe. They're all different. They all work. The lesson isn't to find which recipe to be slavish about. Start somewhere and change things to find what you like. All it is is flour and something to make it rise and something to give it more flavor, if you like (salt).
I got my starter from pal Dave -- he has a batch of 250-yr-old San Fran starter that he's been keeping alive. (What tribe would that've been?)
Then there's pancakes. ...Sour it all! I love a zingy flavor. Longer souring, more zing. Easy. Adjust as you like.
Feed the remaining half of your starter then store in fridge a few days til your next batch. (Feed it once a week.) Feeding is throwing out half the old then adding a half cup of warm water and another cup of flour and stirring then letting sit covered lightly for a few hours until it's been bubbling and growing good then store it. Easy.
Bake a loaf til it's 190-210F in the center or it sounds hollow when you thump it.
I just made another loaf today without any close measuring and it came out fine! What fun! (I love to wing it.)
...And, incidentally, I've enjoyed discovering that there's a whole category of sour beers that the cyclocross-crazy Belgians are into bigtime. They let more bacteria into their beers than just yeast. And they go crazy with their yeasts as well. They work the bugs like Americans have been working hops.
Sourdough ... wild ales ... pickling ... stinky cheese ... rotty, dry-aged meat. ...Man, I am going crazy with this "spoiled" food stuff! Coz it's all so good!
Sour buckwheat pancakes.