How to Make Sourdough - An Easy Sourdough Recipe
As many of you know, I am a keen baker and a big sourdough convert! Sourdough really is simple. I make my loaf before I go to bed, leave it on the side to prove overnight then put it in the oven when I wake. The making takes less than 10 minutes and the baking about 30 minutes...the waiting is the hardest part....we all know that hot bread, straight from the oven gives you indigestion!! You can buy sourdough almost anywhere now...supermarkets have finally caught on to our need for more than just sliced white (thank goodness), but nothing beats a loaf from an artisan bakery or even better, warm from your own oven. Don't be put off by the idea of a 'starter' or the thought of kneading for hours....find yourself a good recipe and you'll wonder why you didn't take it up earlier.
If that all feels like too much.....most places now have small independent bakeries where they can buy beautiful fresh bread in many guises. We are lucky to have a lovely bakery such as this, just a short distance away and their bread is so popular you need to order it to ensure yourself of a loaf! We visited recently and managed to catch Chris just popping his beautiful loaves in the oven....take a look....
A bit further away from home, but of interest to our USA followers, do check out Breadtopia. Based, in Fairfield, Iowa (about as breadbasket as America gets), Denyce, Eric and their family are self confessed 'bread freaks'! They, like us, believe that 'home made bread, fresh from the oven, feeds your body and soul like no other food', and work really hard to promote home baking. Have a look at their 'no-knead' bread recipe. As for sourdough, I tried this no-knead sourdough recipe at the weekend and it worked really well. There's even a video to help you along! They also have a great blog and an amazing forum where recipes are shared. It is one of those websites that you can spend hours perusing and really get lost in...perfect while you are waiting for your just baked loaf to cool! Do make sure you visit their tutorial page too....there is a great video for sourdough pizza...perfect for soon to be summer picnics. All in all, a really fabulous find, a family business who are passionate about artisan bread making and are working really hard to ensure that 'baking perfect bread at home is available to everyone'.
Then there's the question of how to store your bread. If you have a bread bin, apart from the space it takes up on the counter, you'll probably find that you bred often goes mouldy. Bread has a high water content and because of this, it needs to breathe. Storing your bread in plastic makes it sweat and will make the crust soft.