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!


  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.

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

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

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

  5. great job! always love bread!

  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?