The Real Bread Campaign has taken over the month of September, intent on proving to baking aficionados and novices up and down the country just how delicious sourdough can be.
If you’re interested in getting involved and making your own ingredients, sourdough can be a great place to start. It requires minimal effort, can be kept alive for years and can be utilised to a delicious end.
Sourdough is basically created through the fermentation of dough. Aptly named, it is sourer than ordinary bread, though can also keep for longer. It can also be a healthy alternative to ordinary bread. It’s easier to digest thanks to the higher concentration of lactobacillus (which means less phytic acid) and is therefore a much friendlier option for those who are intolerant to wheat. Not only that, but it’s jam-packed full of flavour and is super easy to make yourself!
Here’s what you’ll need to do to make your very own sourdough starter:
- Mix equal parts organic rye flour with cool water in a non-reactive container (glass or stainless steel) until it’s half full.
- Stir thoroughly, cover loosely and leave to sit for 24 hours out of direct sunlight.
- After the 24 hours, stir again before removing half the mixture.
- Replenish the remaining mixture by adding water and flour, approximately equal in measure, until the mixture has a pancake batter-like consistency.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 for five consecutive days. The mixture will start to bubble within the first two days, and after five days should start rising to double its size.
After your initial five days, move your sourdough starter to the fridge and feed it with flour and water at least once a week. From here you can begin using the removed portion as a basis for your loaf – just make sure you leave at least 150g behind.
If you’d prefer to sample some delicious sourdough made by someone else, why not check out one of the following:
- Pizzarova in Bristol
- Brasserie at The Cumberland in London
- The Quince Tree in Oxford
- Oscar’s in Nottingham
- The Devonshire Fell in North Yorkshire
Or, if you’re interested in learning more about sourdough, our friends over at Hobbs House Bakery regularly hold sourdough courses for beginners. Our editor Hannah recently popped over as part of National Barbecue week, and returned a Weber Grill expert.