“I added this rampant culture to a tub with flour and water and salt and I mixed the dough myself. It bucked and surged; it was uncanny. I formed a loaf and nothing stuck to my fingers. Silvery and taut, this was sourdough on a wartime footing.”
Sourdough by Robin Sloan
2020 seemed to be the year for baking sourdough. I confess, I was a little late to the game. I had made sourdough bread with a start created from commercial yeast, but had never attempted to create my own culture with naturally-occurring yeast. I found Baking Sourdough by Kevan Roberts to be an in-depth primer on the subject.
Starter with Rye Flour
Note: You’ll use 50 grams of water and rye flour every time you feed the start.
- 50 grams rye flour
- 50 grams pure water
- Fermentation container of choice to hold up to 700 grams of finished starter
- Tea towel, linen, or muslin cloth
My first attempt at creating a viable start failed. I had boiled tap water and let it sit overnight in order to dechlorinate the water. However, my start grew sluggishly. For the second attempt, I purchased distilled water and used it to create the start. After a week or so of feeding and tending my start, it bubbled and grew nicely. All signs showed that the start was ready to bake with. But would my bread rise?
I’m happy to report that I was able to make my first sourdough boules. It was so satisfying to make bread with only flour, water, and salt. And the end result was quite tasty!
Review by Heather