My sourdough journey has been somewhat bumpy, to say the least, and it has kind of derailed my mission to follow and bake from each episode of Paul Hollywood's TV series 'Bread' as the two weeks it took me to cultivate my sourdough starter meant that the series had ended before I got chance to turn the oven on...
That being said, I think it is fair to say that if Paul's mission was as he said to get the British baking bread, he has certainly succeeded with me - if I put half the amount of effort that I have taken in researching, practising, debating and fine-tuning my sourdough into my day-to-day life, I'd be some sort of multi-millionaire genius by now!
I've documented the trials and tribulations I experienced actually cultivating my sourdough starter (Gizmo II) here, and am pleased to report that he is now healthy and residing on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that he only has to be fed once a week. When it came to making my sourdough loaf, I used Paul's recipe, which you can find on the BBC website here, and made just a few changes;
|Gizmo II and my already well worn copy of 'Bread'|
- I used half the amount stated of strong white flour, and made up the rest with rye flour, as I wanted the rye flavour
- As I don't have a banneton or proving basket, I liberally floured a mixing bowl, and used that to get my shape
|Sourdough proving in a mixing bowl for shape|
- I used a mix of strong flour and semolina to dust the baking sheet and the top of the loaf to prevent it from spreading outwards when baking.
|Dusted with flour and semolina and ready to bake|
I was really pleased with the texture and taste of my sourdough, I'd never actually tasted one before, so didn't know what to expect, but it reminded me a little of the real ales that my Dad used to drink, quite a hoppy smell and taste. I can tell you that it was absolutely divine, both on it's own, and topped with scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes for breakfast! Mmm...
|My finished sourdough loaf, fresh from the oven|