Last week I started making a sourdough starter using a Sourdough Bread recipe from my Grandma’s Best Recipes book and blogged about this experimental baking here. After waiting a few days, I wasn’t sure if the dough was ready as it didn’t seem frothy, like the recipe said it would so I left the mix a little longer. Unfortunately, this ended up with the top of the starter freckling with mould. Dismayed by this I consulted that oracle of knowledge the internet and came across two schools of thought. The first was to discard the starter and try again the other was to scrape away the mould and use the remnants.
So I ended up scraping the top from my starter and throwing the tea towel in the wash, choosing to cover it with cling film instead. The next day I decided that the starter looked ready to use and decided to try and make bread using it.
If you want to make this, you will need the following ingredients.
For the starter:
85g/ 3 oz Wholemeal flour
85g/ 3 oz Strong White flour
55g/ 2 oz Caster sugar
250ml/ 9 fl oz Milk
For the rest of the bread:
450g/ 1 lb Wholemeal Flour
4 teaspoons Salt
350ml/12 fl oz lukewarm Water
2 tablespoons Black Treacle
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Plain flour for dusting.
To start making this dish I combined the two flours, sugar and milk of the starter then tried to beat it with a fork. As I mentioned in my last post I spilt a bit because I chose too small a bowl... it’s not at all because I’m clumsy!
Once the spillages were mopped up and the ingredients combined, I got a tea towel and ran it under a tap to make it damp then lay it over the starter and put it out of the way. The next step was to wait, so I waited for five days and then discovered the dreaded mould!
To deal with this I scraped the top layer off with a teaspoon and disposed of it in the bin. After that I covered the starter again with cling film instead of the tea towel. I left it for another day and as it seemed to be frothing properly and not forming a crust like it was with the tea towel I decided to make the bread dough.
I got out the flour and two teaspoons of salt, measured them then sifted them into the mixing bowl, then added the treacle and the oil.
The I tipped the starter in, as you can probably imagine it stunk!
After putting all of this in the mixing bowl, I got my wooden spoon and mixed it all together.
The recipe said to mix until the dough begins to form but it just seemed really sticky, so I added more flour and then it started to become more dough like. Once it got to the dough stage I started to knead the dough but it became sticky again so I added a bit more flour to the mix and kneaded it in the bowl for another 10 minutes before covering it with cling film an leaving it to rise.
I came back to the dough about three hours later and it didn’t seem to have risen much but it did seem to have increased in size a bit so I decided that was good enough for me as it was getting late.
My next step was to sprinkle my baking sheet and a baking tray with some flour and set them aside for a moment whilst pre-heating my oven to 220c/ gas mark 7. After I did that I sprinkled flour on to my kitchen side, kneaded the dough for ten minutes and divided the dough into two lots, one lot of rolls and one loaf.
Half way through doing this I stopped and put the remaining two teaspoons of salt in a bowl with four tablespoons of water and stirred them together. I let the rolls rise for fifteen minutes and brushed them and the loaf with the salty water mix.
After fifteen minutes I put the rolls in the oven for another fifteen minutes.
When I took these out of the oven I brushed the loaf with a few more layers of saltwater glaze and then put that in the oven for half an hour.
I tried eating one of the rolls by itself on the night I baked them but it was a bit stodgy. The next day I had one with some butter and soup, this worked but wasn’t quite as nice as a one of my home baked white bread rolls.
I think this recipe is ok but takes a lot longer than the bread I am used to making, so I will have to time when I make the starter so that I bake this bread at a weekend and have more time. If I try it again I will ignore the idea of covering the starter with a damp tea towel and use cling film instead; however, I fancy trying other sour dough recipes, which use water in the starter rather than milk.