Homemade Sourdough Bread
I have mentioned a few times already that for over 3 months now I have been baking my own sourdough bread. It all started when we moved to the States and I couldn't find bread that would taste as good as bread I grew up with. It took me 2 years :-D to start making my own, but since moving, I have been reading about bread and looking for good bakeries in the area. I made several batches of yeast breads, bread rolls and bagels, but I missed a good loaf of crusty and moist bread, and finally made the decision it is time to start baking. When I took the first loaf out of the oven, not only I got a huge scar on my right wrist to remember about it for the rest of my life, I also fell in love with the deep and complex flavours, and I knew I would be baking bread until the rest of my life.
Making your own sourdough isn't hard or complicated. The only few things you need are; flour, water, salt and your hands. And an oven, of course. Have you ever thought with just a 3 ingredients you can make a masterpiece?! I was shocked how good the bread was when I took the first bite. After that, I couldn't stop eating, and I had eaten a half of the loaf, breaking it with my hands, while it was still hot. That's how good it was! To this day, I have made about 30 loafs and it just gets more exciting and delicious.
I am writing this on Tuesday afternoon, and it is now time to take my starter out of the fridge to feed it in an hour and make bread on Friday. There is some work involved in making bread, you need to follow a schedule, and it is semi-hard at the beginning, but it is well worth it, and if you have time, you should definitely try making it at least once to discover how amazing is the feeling of creating something delicious from the very beginning.
Because I am not a professional and I only have 3 months of experience, I will not be posting a recipe here, but I will forward you all to two guys whom I have learned everything from, and who are the reason of thousands of hundreds of people making this beautiful bread at home.
If you have not heard of Chad Robertson of Bar Tartine in San Francisco yet, you should definitely look him up and then go and visit his bakery and bar to have some of his amazing bread. His story with bread is amazing and I loved reading his book about it. Here is a link to his most favourite bread Tartine's Country Loaf.
If you feel like you want to start baking sourdough bread at home, you should definitely check out Maurizio's website. From what I know, he started with Tartine's bread and then developed his own techniques, experimenting with different flours, ratios and types of bread. I personally love reading his blog and following his recipes. I learned how to make a starter from him, he helped me a lot along the way when I asked him questions, and every time I make "his" bread, it turns out just amazing!
I hope you will at least check these guys out and maybe give it a try. If you are a bread lover, you will definitely adore this type of bread!
I should add, if you are not used to sourdough, and you are scared by the name, you should know that this bread does not have to be sour. It all depends on your taste, the starter you create, and amount of it you use. Once you get into baking, you will know what I mean. Actually, sourdough is just an easier name for a "long-living starter". I read many blogs about bread and I came across this statement a lot that in fact, if your loaf of bread is sour, you're not doing it right. If that's true or not, I don't know, but I do know that I prefer my bread to be full of flavour but not acidic. Those types of bread would commonly be called levain, but I do not pay any particular attention to a name, I just love this bread and am happy that I can make it every week for my family.