Sourdough Tim.

So I have made a sourdough loaf.

Tim has given birth!
I’ve been using the River Cottage recipe… Closely enough anyway.

I figured my starter was 6 days old and using Gary’s superior sense of smell we determined the started was at the “yeasty” point. To me it smelt like apricots. Sometimes I have a hard time pinpointing smells. I can tell you if things smell good or bad but can’t always work out exactly what the smell is. It is supposed to start smelling “fruity and yeasty” when it’s ready so between me thinking it smells like apricots (fruit) and Gary saying bread (yeast) we thought it might be time to trial some bread.

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I moved Mr Tim to a glass jar. Firstly so I can have my mixing bowl back, and secondly because it’s interesting to be able to mark the starting point for the day and then see how much he grows by the next morning.

I started with mixing some starter and fresh flour into the “sponge” according to the recipe linked above. I used plain flour and a touch of spelt because I ran out of plain flour (whoops).

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Mr Spongy sat and bubbled away all night.

Then in the morning I brought some bread flour (higher protein than standard flour, apparently). I added this into the sponge with some oil, salt and water and kneaded it till nice and smooth.

I let the dough sit and rise.

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Then I showed the dough who was boss and punched that sucker back. I let it rise once more then the magic happened.

I put a pan in a rather hot oven, popped the bread into the hot pan and sprayed some water in the oven. 40 or so minutes later and it was done.

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It did crack near the bottom.

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And it was maybe a tiny bit more dense than I would have preferred, but certainly not too dense.

20140203-213803.jpg also apparently there was also a small lump of flour in the middle.

The bread was also a little too much on the sour side but it was fantastic toasted with the lentil Spag Bol that I made last night. All in all I’m pretty happy. And tonight I’m making a start on lil’ Timmy 2.

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Challenge accepted week 4.

Whoops. I ended up missing week 3.

There’s no excuses really – work was flat out, I felt unwell and unmotivated and it just didn’t happen.

So back on the horse for week 4. My challenge actually started yesterday so it’s kind of the Monday and Tuesday of week 3 and then all of week 4.

Which works well as my challenge is to grow a sourdough starter and then bake a sourdough loaf. This may take up to a week to develop the starter. Given the forecast heat for the week – high 30s and low 40s it may not take that long.

Meet Tim:

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apparently it’s bad luck not to name your starter

I started with about 100g of plain flour and enough (filtered) water to make it the consistency of thick paint. I let that sit most of yesterday to activate then added 100g fresh flour and water to maintain consistency this morning.

Then it’s a matter of refreshing it daily for up to a week by discarding half and adding fresh water and flour each day until it’s ready. Then I can start baking!

I love the idea of sourdough as it’s making bread with just flour, water, and a touch of salt. The starter ferments and grows the natural yeast in the air and that’s what makes the bread rise. It’s vegan in the sense that there’s no animal products involved and great because there’s no additives unless I put them in. Mind you, the starter is often considered to essentially be alive and people refer to feeding it and looking after it. Kind of like making yourself a little bread friend… And then eating it…

Anyway, creepiness aside, it sounds like a fun challenge! I’ll try and report every few days and let you know how Tim is going.