Bread Experiment Week 1: Sourdough

The other half of this blog is supposed to be dedicated to baking and as I haven’t actually posted something I thought I best get on it! 🙂  Other than my yoga aspirations, I also have dreams of opening a bakery/coffee shop someday.  Right now I actually have the ability to go work in a bakery for a couple of months so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see if I even actually like baking in a more professional setting.  So while I search for that job, I thought I would brush up on my skills.  Specificially, I have never made much bread so I am hoping to get a wee better at it.

Sourdough bread has always been the holy grail of bread making to me.  When I was growing up I baked your basic white and wheat bread, but sourdough bread required a starter and therefore was way beyond my capabilities.  But you see the thing is, I love sourdough bread – the tangy softness of the inside combined with the chewy crusty outside.  It is so lovely with just a bit of butter or jam on it.

However, recently I decided that I was just going to do it – it can’t actually be that hard right?  I found a simple looking recipe in my cookbook and started reading it over.  Silly me – it seemed a starter simply required some flour, yeast, warm water and about two days.  This is what I had been afraid of all this time?  I was still a bit suspicious, surely there must be something else required.  I reread the recipe and nope that was it.  So I mixed it all up and put it in a warm sunny place and waited the required two days.

On the second day, I woke up excited about making the bread.  I put all the rest of the ingredients into the cuisinart and mixed them up.  Then I slowly poured the starter into the mixture.  The dough firmed up nicely.  I pulled it out of the cuisinart and started kneading it with my hands.  The dough was unusually soft beneath my fingers.  I let it rise and then it was time for the moment of truth – baking it.  Would it turn out good or not?  I heated up the oven, cooked it for the prescribed time and pulled it out.  It looked just like I imagined that sourdough bread should look.  Nice and crusty on the outside with the insides peeking through the slashes on the top.  I was running out the door so I let it cool overnight.  The next morning I cut into it.  It looked nice and soft inside.  Time to spread a bit of butter on it and see if it tasted as good as it looked.  It did – it was a little salty, but other than that it was just as I imagined it would be.

Next:  Pumpernickel – requested by my husband. 🙂

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