This post is probably going to be boring for anybody who isn’t me, but I am utterly thrilled – I’m making sourdough starter. It’s just flour and water, carefully tended, but it will eventually (hopefully) give me springy, chewy, tasty bread. It sounds completely gross, but I’m basically colonizing wild yeasts from the flour and the air and growing them into this living culture, kind of like yoghurt. I got the recipe from Breadtopia and will be attempting my very first loaf of bread later this week. Someone I know took about five attempts before getting an edible result, but I’m kind of hoping I’ll be a sourdough prodigy and magically get it right first time… I’m so looking forward to this bread! Nathan and his work colleagues have been making fun of the whole thing though – “the grossest thing I’ve ever heard” according to one of them. He’ll be eating his words (ha) when Nathan brings fresh sourdough to the office though. Apparently I’m growing monsters in the kitchen, and I guess I kind of am. The starter ‘breathes’ out little carbon dioxide bubbles and grows a bit every time I feed it. Some people online kept their starter going for more than five years, some people even took it on holiday with them so it didn’t get neglected. So, we have named our ‘monster’ – Candy, short for Candida, which is also the name of a type of yeast.
Look at all those bubbles! Apparently, I can also use this stuff to make hot cross buns, crumpets and pizza dough. But what I am most excited about is: making a loaf of bread from scratch, chopping up homegrown garlic and parsley, maybe even making my own butter from cream. Then putting together my own garlic bread that is completely ‘me made’. Nathan doesn’t really get it, but this kind of thing gives me an enormous sense of accomplishment.
At this stage, I’m aiming for a loaf of bread by Friday afternoon. I have to figure out exactly when to start, because it needs 12-18 hours to rise (or prove?) before I can even start baking. Wish me luck – hoping I’ll have triumphant photos to share!
Edit: We have a name change. Candy is now known as The Yeastie Boys. And I don’t know if I’ll have bread on Friday after all – this dough doesn’t seem to be rising at all!