15 May 2014

four in a row


If you are thinking of getting a pet and remain unsure about whether you have the time to look after it, perhaps you should think about experimenting with a sourdough starter. You'll know then that if you don't manage to get to Day 7 then you're really not fit to have a pet. If you already have a houseful of cats or dogs who need feeding and grooming at regular intervals, it should be simple. Shouldn't it? Well it is. What nobody tells you however is is that you'll end up with jars of the stuff and it will take over the kitchen table, if not your life.

Now I'm sure there's plenty of advice out there on how to make a sourdough starter and you may indeed have tried it yourself.  I followed Dan Lepard's advice in Short and Sweet, though he doesn't  cover all of the practical issues (though this article does). It is all quite exciting in a Quatermass kind of way. And I'm sure if you read the recipe properly the resultant loaf will turn out fine. Mine didn't because Dan's recipe is narrative and it seems I can only follow lists if I've any chance of getting something right. But even though I missed out 100g of flour and the rise was not airy enough, my loaf  had a fabulous crust and tasted wonderful, if somewhat dense and chewy.

I'm going to be trying again. There may even be a picture of a row of one when I manage to get it right.

8 comments:

Jane Housham said...

That made me laugh as I thought to start with you were saying a sourdough starter would make a nice alternative to a pet! I think there's something in that. Fascinating. Think I'll try to get my husband going with it.

the veg artist said...

I cannot eat bread (coeliac) and my cat, although she takes over the house, is not a lot of work. So this is one hobby I will not be taking up!

Val , Kate, The Cute Kitten ,Razzy, Kepsey,Darwin ,Charon and Echo. said...

Lovely post the pictures reminded me of keeping Ginger beer plants going in our locker in the fifth year at school...we fed them with care.
I wish I liked the taste of sourdough as it does look rather fun!

ALoadofOldTat said...

I've heard of sourdough being baby-sat, does that qualify?

rachel said...

Sadly, you are now well on the path to sourdough madness; you do know it has to come on holiday with you, don't you?

tut-tut said...

Ha! I'd been having varying levels of success with this business until I tried Kevin Dundon's method,which essentially has you make a starter, set it on the counter loosely covered, and leave it and feed it for about 4 days (he says 5, I think, but that was too long the first time I tried it) and then throw the whole business into a bowl, add flour, proof, form loaves, rise and bake. Best bread and best crust I've ever made.

Liz said...

Haven't yet ventured into the world of sourdough yet - all that talk of structure, hydration, stable state and 'the mother' has me a tad scared. If you do go on holiday, you might use this:
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/may/30/the-sourdough-hotel-cultural-centre

sonja said...

my 'pet' turned seven this year...and its offspring scatters the globe..;-)