Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Our Daily Bread

Here's a little game for you. What's this?

Not particularly beautiful is it? Well, it is to me. It's the start of something I've been meaning to do for a while, and I'm very excited about it.

It's my first attempt at a sourdough starter so that I can bake my own bread. For the uninitiated, the idea is that you mix flour and water, and cross your fingers in hope that airborne yeasts will ferment the mixture. From these humble beginnings, you can keep taking portions of the starter to make your bread. You then 'feed' the starter daily with flour and water, and keep it in a warm place.

I've no idea if this first attempt will work, but I have a good feeling. As I whisked the mixture into a thick consistency, I imagines all the loaves that it would one day help to form. All the sandwiches, bread and butter puddings, golden breadcrumbs and crunchy slices of toast. Despite the rather unappealing look of the starter, my mouth was already watering.

Only time will tell if it will ferment as it should. It's currently nestled in the airing cupboard, surrounded by towels and bedlinen, looking a little out of place. Hopefully, this will be the perfect place to encourage those yeasts to perform their magic.

If I get this right, I'm hoping that good quality, slow risen bread will be on the menu every day in our house.

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