My First Sourdough Bread
For the past four days I've had a bubbling, oozing colony of yeasts and bacteria living in my airing cupboard. I've been feeding them and keeping them warm. I worry when I'm not there to keep an eye on their pungent progress.
The first blog I ever posted here on Jamie's site was about bread. It wasn't planned that way, but I like how this ancient, fundamental foodstuff, which is the first thing on the table, was also the first bit of cooking I thought to blog about. Sadly, our regular bread is so abused in the UK - so unpalatable and indigestible - that many people give up on it altogether for fear of bloating, sluggishness and weight gain. After living in Italy for three years, the British supermarket loaf seemed to me a tasteless, spongy shadow of the rustic, country loaves found on the continent.
But doesn't have to be this way. I've long enjoyed breadmaking using Jamie's basic recipe, but I didn't know many other techniques until I bought 'Bread Matters' by artisan baker, Andrew Whitley. Part diatribe against the modern baking industry with all it's enzymes and additives, part science text, and part cookery book, it's bold, authoritative, and inspiring. It's thanks to Mr Whitley that I now keep wild yeasts as pets.
So here is my first go at a wheat sourdough - made to Andrew's recipe for French Country Bread with only organic flour, water, salt, wild yeast and time. The result was a morish, open-textured delight, with a lovely crust and chewy crumb. Will I ever buy white sliced again?
Grazie mille, cara amica!
that looks great and I bet it tasted even better when it was warm from the oven?
I've always fancied having a go at my own organic starter. Thanks for the link...
sourdough bread is one of my favourite and yours looks wonderful. bread, butter, wine, yum.
As a started for tonight's dinner, I turned some of this sourdough bread into bruschetta with chopped vine tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella! Mmmmm.