I’ve learned a lot on my bread making odyssey over the past couple of years, and am now able to produce a loaf of a fairly good standard. There’s still the odd brick (I don’t quite get the point of rye flour yet), but generally the feedback from my victims is positive.
My tentative forays into the world of sourdoughs, however, have been a little disappointing. My loaves made using naturally occurring yeasts have ended up barely distinguishable from those made with instant yeast, and have lacked an essential element; sourness.
So I’m going to start again, and stick with it this time. Andrew Whitley’s essential book Bread Matters has been a great help, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to make bread properly, and understand the reasons why mass-produced ‘Chorleywood’ loaves are such a bad thing.
Having read, re-read, and re-re-read the section on sourdoughs, I’ve spent the last few days turning a simple mixture of flour and water into a bubbling mass of yeasty goodness, and have used some of this to make a ‘production sourdough’ tonight, ready for an attempt at a loaf in the morning.
Whether it works perfectly or goes horribly wrong, I’ll document my efforts here tomorrow…