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Sourdough Series II: Take the 'L' OR Now We're Cookin'!

Hey there! It's been a minute. Sourdough journeys, amirite??

It's been a wild ride, y'all! Get it? Because wild yeast...

So, hopefully y'all have been keeping your sourdough starters fed these past weeks. I know I have! I made sure that it was fed and kept up with the consistency that I wanted:

I also made sure to pour off the fizzy liquid (the discard) that happened after I would feed my little yeasty community:

Then, a few weeks in, I had what I felt was a pretty lit collection of wild yeast:

I'm no stranger to this process and I've had a lot of successes in the past. In true Anïsa fashion, though, I've taken an L so that y'all won't have to!

First of all, the Loss:

I fed my starter frequently. I had the correct flour (a very good bread flour, thanks to my Patrons, that was full of protein and gluten). The starter itself was fine. However, I got a little froggy last week and I felt like I needed to have my sourdough bread immediately. I used a recipe that said it was "easy." Nothing worth doing is exactly easy, though. Long story short, I failed.

  1. I didn't activate my starter enough. You should feed your starter 8-12 hours before you make your bread. I think I fed it two days before and I thought it'd be fine. Don't do that! You want your yeast to want to 'eat', but you don't want to try and wake them up during the bread making process. They have to be wide awake and ready to chow down and create a rise!

  2. I didn't use enough water. I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm going to just blame a lack of attention to detail. So pay attention to your recipe :)

  3. I under salted it.

So, the end result was a very minuscule rise, a very doughy, dense texture and a big sad me. It was not good.

Basically, I reacquainted myself with my past mistakes. Y'all are welcome. Instead of beating myself up about it, I started over again! I fed my sourdough and built it back up for a week, to where it got nice and active.

Then, I used the most reliable recipe I know of. I like no-knead recipes because I like to start the bread before I go to bed, let it proof for 10-12 hours, then bake it so I will have fresh bread the next day. I'm not going to bore you with reciting a recipe I've already posted the link of, but I will tell you that it is very important to follow the directions closely, especially the stretching part and the heating your oven part. The only thing I modified was the amount of salt. I added about 2 1/2 tsp of salt instead of the recommended 2 tsp, but also, I like a saltier bread.

This bread is tender and flavorful. Eating it is like a warm hug. I slathered it with butter and a quick homemade berry jam from some mixed berries I had hanging out in my freezer. I cooked the jam while the bread was baking in the oven so we had hot, fresh jam on our hot, fresh bread. It was very, very sexy.

Mixed Berry Jam

  • 3 Cups of Mixed Berries, Fresh or Frozen

  • 1 Cup of Sugar (Add a bit more if you like a more sugary jam)

  • 1 Tsp of Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla

  • 3 Tbsp of Water

  1. Combine all ingredients in medium sized sauce pan

  2. Simmer on medium for about 20 minutes until mixture thickens and berries are breaking down

  3. Take sauce pan off of heat and cool

  4. Eat it on your fabulous, fresh baked bread

I hope my little journey helped with y'all's sourdough quests. It's been a long time coming (as I've been working on my bread skills for a while now). Enjoy your bread, friends, and let me know how delicious (or not remotely delicious and needing work) it is! Doing the work is part of the fun.

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