The last month or so I’ve been delving back into making sourdough. Or rather I should say I’ve gotten back into attempting sourdough.
Several years ago, I looked online and tried to make a sourdough starter and somehow couldn’t make it work. I know. It’s easy. Says everyone. Still, I didn’t get it. Why do you have to throw loads of it away? How often do you have to feed it? How do you know?!
Since I started to speaking to a colleague in December about how she makes it I got some of her starter; Henry. If you don’t know already, people name their starters. Because, they can last for generations. Seriously.
Unfortunately, Henry is dead. He starved. Or maybe he made it, but wasn’t healthy enough to make the hard rocks I baked and called bread (hangs head in shame). The other half of Henry ended up mouldy.
I have made several attempts, done a LOT of reading and think I’ve discovered the secret. Not only that, I’ve also ‘gotten it’. There’s that thing you have that comes naturally, a FEEL for it. Sometimes you have it so early you think you were born with it, but sometimes it takes some learning. I had that with eggs. Now I have a feel for how long it takes to make sure it’s got a soft yolk and hard white part when I boil them. I had to learn that though.
Now I’ve got the feel for sourdough.
I started following the Zero Waste Chef for the purpose of lowering waste and maximising food usage. Then I found her sourdough obsession and her starter called Eleanor.
Now I’m baking beautiful specimens of bread that contain only wholefoods and I know what every ingredient is. Hallelujah!
Ready to start?
Making your own sourdough starter is the place to begin. You should work with one over a couple of weeks to get to know it, see what it likes and how it reacts to different environments and how you treat it.
To learn how to make a starter, to care for it and to bake delicious bread, join one of our workshops.
We’ll also be running workshops on different ferments throughout the year where you may heal yourself by feeding your gut flora.