Have you jumped aboard the sourdough bandwagon yet? I wasn’t going to, but we were gifted a sourdough starter and it was love at first sniff. Sourdough smells so good!!!
I’ve been meaning to learn to bake my own bread for years, but it always felt intimidating and sounded like a lot of work. I will tell you a little secret though, it’s all about the rhythm.
Oxford Dictionary defines rhythm as “a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound“
Whatever task it is that you’re trying to integrate into your day, once you learn the rhythm of the thing, it becomes almost effortless. After I learned the steps to baking sourdough and memorized the recipe, it turns out that keeping a sourdough starter and baking my own bread only takes up an hour or so of my time each week.
Here are the steps:
The morning before I want to bake bread, I take my sourdough starter out of the fridge and feed it. (I use the discard to make crumpets which are delicious and only take five minutes to do. Here’s the link to the recipe I use.) I leave the starter out on the counter to wake up and then that night after dinner I make this sourdough recipe. The starter goes back into the refrigerator and I will feed it again in four days or so when I make more bread.
Next I stretch and fold the dough four times in a two hour period and then let it rest in a cloth covered bowl on the counter all night.
The following morning I shape the dough into a round loaf and put it in a cloth-lined bowl in the refrigerator to be baked that evening.
At dinner time I preheat the oven and bake the bread. Then I let it cool until bedtime so that most of the moisture has a chance to escape. I’ve found the secret to keeping the bread fresh is to wrap the cooled loaf in a kitchen towel and then put it back into the pot I baked it in with the lid on. It stays soft for three or four days, but by then it’s usually all gone anyway.
If you’ve never baked sourdough, give it a go! You’ll feel so fancy.