My relationship with sourdough spans a bit over a decade now. I've been evolving my methodology and recipe over time according to tricks of the trade that I pick up from fellow boulangers. In my opinion, bread making is one of the most satisfying objects one can make with their bare hands. To me the idea of making life from the most simple ingredients, flour and water, is so poetic and spans so far back in history that my mind starts to explode when I think about it.
The act of making bread takes a combination of patience, love, and discipline. For me, this once a week ritual takes 8 hours from start to finish... more or less depending on the ambient temperature and taste that you intend to develop.
During this testing time of self isolation, why not make the most of it by developing a new found love for sourdough? I hope this 'Ponytail Sourdough Masterclass' gives you joy, one that you can break and share with anyone else trapped indoors with you for the foreseeable future.
The Sourdough Starter
For this recipe, you will need a poolish sourdough starter, a type of wet sponge made with an equal weight of water and flour. Combine 100g flour and 100g water in a clean, tall glass jar. Cover with a muslin cloth and leave in a dry shaded area for 3 days. Once you see bubbles forming on about the 3rd day (this could take more or less time depending on the temperature and natural yeasts in the environment) feed your mixture with equal weights flour and water, once a day at the same time each day. To give you an idea, I add about 50g of flour and 50g of water each time I feed the starter. Make sure you mix the ingredients well when you add them to your jar of starter.
If your jar is getting too full at feeding time, you may want to tip half out before feeding. You can use this goodness to make pancakes, scones, waffles, you name it.
After about 7-10 days you should have a young and healthy starter to use for this recipe.
For this simple recipe you need to feed your sourdough starter a few days before you make the bread to make sure its nice and active. The more active your starter, the more likely the bacteria in the starter will be able to make carbon dioxide to give you a nice and airy crumb.
You will need:
- 500g starter
- 275g luke warm water
- 20g sea salt
- 500g flour
- extra flour for dusting
The Sourdough Masterclass
May your sourdough journey begin here, and may you take this gift with you for the rest of your days. Be well my friends, Lauren