|Preview on my first self made sourdough bread|
So, how did everything start off? I was trying to make sourdough before, but I stalled my trials for a while cause I was never really able to keep the stuff at the right temperature. Now we are in the Guangdong summer and the weather is just right to do a new try. I also will cheat a bit and use my bread machine in between.
After you read my introduction in the first start of Sourdough, you might ask yourself why you should go through all this hustle if you can buy bread with the baker around the corner. Well let me tell you, I simply cannot. Buying bread here is something of a nuisance, so called foreign bakeries asking something like 5 USD for a loaf of bread and on top of it, none of them is as good as the one that I just made. Many commercial types of bread are using a lot of chemistry, emulsifier, Lecithin, glue, etc. All I am using is flour, water and salt. Not convinced yet? I am. But if you still need more convincing, don't miss on watching this great video that can explain you the advantages and science of sourdough much better then I can. - The video
Let’s first explain a bit what sourdough is and why I go through all the (3 days long) hustle to make it (actually it really only takes 15 minutes working time in total so it’s rather easy to make). Sourdough has already been used by the Egyptians and since then it’s used to make bread that taste mildly (or less midly) sour. That is because of the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli and the naturally occurring yeasts that is in the air as well as on the flour (this fact is proudly presented by Wikipedia). It will be activated in the fermenting process that I will describe as following:
Day 1:100 g lukewarm water
100 g rye floor
Mix both together, cover it with a towel and put it in a warm place (see below mention for temperature). The bacteria and the yeast like dark and warm places. Now the fermentation can start and both will merrily eat the malt sugar of the dough and transform it into something sour and yeasty. Let’s give them a rest and let them work now. As you can see, after the first day we are already see some proof of their activities.
|Day 1 - 24 hours later, the rye sour dough is already very active, a lots of bubbles can be seen|
24 hours later – Day 2100 g lukewarm water
100 g rye floor
Add the flour and water to the existing mix from yesterday, mix it up, cover it with a towel and put it in a warm place and let our friends do some more fermentation work.
|Another 24 hours later, the rye sour dough is now very active and an abundance of bubbles can be seen|
24 hours later – Day 350 g water if the dough (like mine) is very wet already, else take another 100 g of water
100 g rye floor
Mix everything together again, stir well, cover it with a towel and put it in a warm place and let them the dough work again until it’s time to uncover it.
|Day 3 - another 12 hours later, my sourdough is ready too go|
If the dough looks like the above, it is actually good to go. Depending on the temperature that you grew your dough and the state of fermentation the dough might be done after 12 hours already. If not, let it rest another 12 hours. The dough is good when there are those bubbles (you can literally heart he popping noise of the dough) and it smells nice and sour and looks like on my picture (actually it won’t hurt if there are a few more bubbles though, compare this last day picture with the one of day two and you see how much more active the dough was then…)
For your information, I read on another blog. If in your dough have been some bubbles and suddenly there are no more bubbles in your dough after a while, it is certainly hungry and it needs more feeding. Then give it some more flour and water and see if the bubbles are coming back.
Now, don’t forget to take off 3 – 4 spoons of your dough and put it in a glass and store it in the fridge. You can use this later on as a starter for the next generation of sourdough. Doing this, your next sourdough can be created in only 12 hours and from it you will take the next generation of starter to store in the fridge. On most blogs the users are agreeing on the fact that the more generations of dough you are breading, the better the taste of the bread.
A last word about the temperatures as it is not unimportant to watch them. Temperatures over 40 will kill all the goodies in the dough. Between 30 and 40 the dough will turn very sour. Temps around 27 will make the dough sour and temperatures around 24 will create a mild sour. This is because at those different temperatures either the yeast or the lactobacilli are working more hard. My sourdough now is very active and aggressive smells very sour a bit like nail-polish remover as it has been on a very warm place. But don’t be afraid of the smell, the sourdough will get much better in taste and smell after we cultivated it over a few generations as mentioned above and yes, it will smell a bit strict at first, if you are not used to the smell of sourdough.
Stay tune for my next chapter in which I will show you my freshly baked rye bread…