RSS

My Sourdough Chronicles.

13 Jan
KJE_2509

Healthy and active sourdough starter

 

I can never pass up a great loaf of bread, especially if it’s leavened only by using sourdough culture. In Colorado, there were a few places (Denver and Boulder) that I liked to buy bread from. In Arizona, a couple of places (Bisbee and Tucson) had some amazing breads. Now here in Georgia, I’ve found bread that I love in Athens. It’s a bit of a trek for me, since we live in Augusta, so I finally decided that I should just start making my own sourdough leavened bread.

KJE_2058

One of my first doughs for a loaf

 

One day in October of 2013, I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was finally serious about baking sourdough leavened bread. My friend Juliette, owner and baker of Guadalupe Baking Company, kindly offered to send me some of her dehydrated sourdough starter. I quickly messaged her because YES, I wanted some. She lives in Bisbee, Arizona which is one of my favorite small quirky towns that I’ve been to. I met Juliette at the Sierra Vista, Arizona farmers’ market and I bought bread from her weekly. Both David and I enjoyed all of her breads immensely. When Juliette informed me that her starter was  20 years old, I was impressed and really excited to receive it.

I was very nervous when I was rehydrating the starter and I followed Juliette’s instructions very closely, even after the first few times of feeding the starter flour and water. As I was trying to psych myself into attempting my first loaf, I made pancakes, waffles, pecan sweet rolls, biscuits, quick breads, bagels, focaccia, and crumpets. A friend of mine suggested that I name my starter, so I decided to call it (her) Brava.

I won’t go into details about my baking successes and failures so far in this blog post, but I do want to share some photos of what I’ve been able to bake with this incredibly robust starter. I now try to bake at least once a week, sometimes more if I know I can give some away, and I’ve managed to figure out a routine so that I won’t need to stuff my freezer full of breads and treats that D and I cannot finish. I’ve also gifted a little of Brava away, and I’m hoping that person is having as much fun as I am.

This whole process of creating a loaf of bread has been a greatly educational experience for me. It’s exciting, frustrating, and satisfying all at once. I’m still trying to make what I consider my idea of a perfect bread (especially a more open crumb), but I know that it will just take some time and patience. At least I can say that the bread that I do bake, tastes good and I don’t have to depend on buying our weekly bread anymore. I’m not saying that I’ll pass up amazing bread if I do come across it, because that would be crazy.

photo-32

Pecan/date quick bread

KJE_2003

Pecan caramel sweet rolls

photo-35

Bagel with chive cream cheese and lox

KJE_2461

Crumpets

KJE_2205

Rosemary focaccia

KJE_2164

A beautiful dough

KJE_2132

My first boule

KJE_2135

My first boule after baking

KJE_2322

Sometimes bread doesn’t come out like you’d want it to

KJE_2278

The beginning of my now favorite 5-7 grain boule

KJE_2554

5-grain seeded dough

KJE_2363

After I bought a cast iron combo cooker, this was the first loaf that got a good amount of oven lift

KJE_2565

I called this my Piscean boule

KJE_2592

Seven grain, seeded boule

KJE_2619

I called this “The Fugliest”

KJE_2330

One of my mixed grain loaves

KJE_2229

Basic white sourdough loaf

KJE_2179

Za’atar crackers

ZAATAR_sourdoughcrackers-2

Before baking and after baking

Sourdough_bananaupsidedown-2

Rum caramel banana upside down cake

KJE_2121

This was good

KJE_2537

My first sourdough challos (challah)

fluffer_newyear-2

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on Monday 13 January 2014 in a day in the life

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

7 responses to “My Sourdough Chronicles.

  1. Hethyr

    Tuesday 14 January 2014 at 07:51

    You are making me fully miss gluten! ;) They all look amazing. How did you get that gorgeous spiral design on the boule?

    Like

     
    • Kathya

      Tuesday 14 January 2014 at 09:02

      Hi Hethyr! I used a banneton, or also known as brotform, to let the dough proof and shape into a boule. It’s basically a wicker basket, comes in various sizes and shapes. Most times now I just use a linen liner inside of the basket, so that doesn’t leave the spiral design on top. Here are a couple of links so you can see what those baskets look like:

      http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/11/04/brotforms/

      http://www.sfbi.com/baking-supplies/wicker-baskets

      Like

       
      • Hethyr

        Thursday 16 January 2014 at 17:40

        So cool! I had never seen or heard of those before. Must. Have. And your newest boules look incredible, too. I miss you… and eating with you! ;)

        Like

         
  2. Donna

    Tuesday 14 January 2014 at 09:29

    Beautiful! Are these sponges or a true kneaded/sit for 2 hours/knead again style?

    Like

     
    • Kathya

      Tuesday 14 January 2014 at 09:57

      So far I’ve only made bread that I knead and let sit and fold/knead again. Typically it takes 2-3 days to have a loaf ready because there’s a lot of waiting for it to proof and develop.

      Like

       
      • Donna

        Tuesday 14 January 2014 at 11:17

        Does sourdough take longer to proof?

        Like

         
      • Kathya

        Tuesday 14 January 2014 at 11:53

        It does typically, at least from my limited experience with commercial dry yeast. The longer time, though, really contributes to developing the flavors and rounding out the sour flavor.

        Like

         

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,573 other followers

%d bloggers like this: