Monday, November 7, 2011

i did it. i really did it!


Yippee! Baking a loaf of sourdough bread- risen without commercial yeast- always seemed so intimidating to me. Such a complicated process, even though I feel like I'm a pretty experienced baker. I knew it was a better way, as far as nutrition and health go. I wanted to find a way to become independant of purchased yeast; especially if I didn't have access to it. I wanted to have connection to the traditional way my foremothers baked throughout most of the world's history.

As I've studied and found some very inspiring resources and a friend who so kindly shared her already established and flourishing starter, I finally built up the confidence and desire to give it a go. I'm not a huge fan of the overly sour, fermented taste that I've sometimes encountered, and the recipe I found sounded like it would be a good fit for me.



Well, I'm pretty satisfied. (I guess we'll know for sure tonight.) I originally wanted to mix up my dough late last night, but sleep took precedence. I got up early (my body rhythm and now this new clock change made it all the easier) and had my dough ready to rise by 5:45 this morning. No mixer. Just a wooden spoon, a strong arm, a little hope, some freshly ground wheat flour, a little salt, a little starter, and some water.

I wanted a good 7-9 hour rising time. If you are a baker, you might relate when I tell you what a thrill, an amazing thrill, it was for me to see that mass in the bowl "magically" rise to the top. It was working! It was alive!

What a beautiful, soft workable dough to handle and form. Four loaves baked all at once, too, in that hot oven. (Which I'll freeze. Looks like it may last us a while.) Hearty, 100% whole wheat healthy wonder bread that will be perfect with a big casserole of from-scratch baked beans. Those white northerns are cooking away happily in the pressure cooker as I write. Another new incredible habit that's saved me time and money.


Here's to frugality! Here's to going out of your comfort zone! Here's to one nutritious meal costing pennies!

6 comments:

  1. Have you considered teaching a small class? I'd love to learn to do this. Funny thing, my handout for regular bread is one with your name on it.

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  2. you are my hero. this is quite the undertaking. maybe a bread making course is in your future!

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  3. The loaves look like they could sit in any french bakery of prestige! Great job! If you teach the class I may come!

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  4. Congratulations! They are stunning, emily! Maybe I'll get there in a couple years and until then I can admire your sourdough bread. :)

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  5. great job! always love bread!

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  6. Oh my, these look so so good!!
    I too want to adventure in this area but find it intimidating...and I have heard it is hard to have a good working starter...
    got any good tips for us?

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