Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sourdough thoughts

I have started up again baking with sourdough. Bought a book about a year and finally decided to read it. I usually read cookbooks as books besides just look up recipes. The book is 'Local Breads' by Daniel Leader.

Do have 3 starters going:

1. Old stand by made with yogurt, milk and flour.
2. Rye starter made with rye flour and water.
3. Levain made with whole wheat flour and water.

Yogurt starter I have made many times since the 1970's. I have made differents breads, English muffins and cakes with it. Our family favorite use to be the English muffins, now it is North Dakota Farmer Bread. When we first moved to the mid-west states, I couldn't get the starter to go, I guess because of the humidity. So, this past summer, I tried again and it is working great.

As I have read the 'Local Breads' book, I feel we don't make bread as it should be made. I think we add too many ingredients and chemicals. I like the idea of just flour, water and salt. I do like adding milk, eggs, oil, etc for softer loaves but now am enjoying the Artisan style.

This is my first time attempting to use 'levain' starter and really enjoying it. By reading the Local Breads book, I have also looked at my other books sitting on the shelves and re-reading them. Now I am using more books, more recipes and the 3 starters. I bought some spelt flour, both white and whole spelt. It is suggested to use a rye starter with spelt to help the gluten and rise the spelt flour better. It made a lighter bread and was good to the taste. I shared a loaf with friends and they love it too!

I am now making baguettes, something else I haven't tried until now, wow! Are they delicious!!!
Hope you enjoy some of my pictures and try some new bread recipes soon!
The bread picture is of Spelt bread made with rye starter, the other picture is levain starter (a stiffer sourdough) made with wheat flour and water.

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