Sourdough Bread

This is my first attempt at making sourdough bread using my homegrown sourdough starter based on water and rye flour.

How to make a rye sourdough starter:

Making a sourdough starter is quite easy. It takes about 5 days until the sourdough starter is ready to use for baking.

You need a jar to keep your sourdough in. I used a 0.5 liter glass Kilner jar. Make sure that the jar is clean and sterilized before you begin.

Once the sourdough starter is finished it needs to be fed about once a week (even though you can leave it for longer). I throw away most of the starter when I feed it, I keep about 50 g in the jar (weigh the empty jar so that you can weigh it with the starter to see how much starter it contains).

I feed it once a week with 60g rye flour and 100g tepid water to 50g starter.

Day 1
Mix 1 tbsp rye flour (I use stoneground organic rye flour) with two tbsp tepid water (30 – 35C, I use Evian spring water) in your jar. Put the jar in a warm place (between 22 – 25C).

If you have a cupboard above your fridge this is a good place since it’s a bit warm.

Do not close the lid, leave it slightly open.

Leave the jar for 24 hours.

Day 2
Look at the sourdough starter. It might be a bit bubbly and maybe a bit foamy. It should smell a bit sweet.

Gently shake the jar to mix it up a bit. That’s it for day 2.

Day 3, Evening
It’s time to feed the sourdough starter. Add 1 tbsp of rye flour to the jar and mix well. We will leave the jar for about 10 hours and then feed it again.

Day 4, Morning
It’s time to feed the sourdough starter for the last time before it’s ready. At this stage it should be bubbly and a bit mousse like in it’s consistency.

We need to throw away some of the starter to get the right ratio. If there is a lot of starter it will require more food (flour and water).

Throw away most of the starter, leave about 1 cm at the bottom of the jar.

Feed it with 2 tbsp tepid water and 2 tbsp rye flour. Leave the jar in a warm place.

Day 4, Evening
The sourdough starter is now finished. Keep the sourdough starter in the fridge. If your jar has a rubber seal, take it off so that the starter can get a small supply of air even though the lid is closed. 

The sourdough starter on Day 1, nighttime.

The final sourdough starter fed the night before the baking. Day 6.

12 hours later. The sourdough starter is alive and bubbling. Day 7.

Mixed with water, salt, stoneground rye flour and strong wheat flour. Left to proof for 2 – 3 hours.

After 2 hours of proofing.

Dough in 1.5 liter loaf tin. Left to proof for 1 hour.

After 1 hour of proofing.

Me and the bread having fun. 🙂

After baking. Returned to oven sans loaf tin for another 10 minutes to further bake the crust.

Final sourdough bread.


Wild Yeast

wildyeastWild Apricot Yeast, Day 1
125 g dried organic apricots (the brown ones, not yellow)
50 g honey (locally sourced, not runny)
25 g sugar
250 g tepid spring water (I used Evian)

wildyeast1Day 5
After five days in the jar we can see that the apricots have plumped up nicely and are floating on the surface. When shaking the jar lots of small bubbles (like Champagne) rise to the surface.
The liquid smells a bit boozy, like a liqueur.

wildyeast2The mixture is sieved.
This recipe yielded 150 ml finished wild yeast.

wildyeast3Finally decanted into a bottle. Apparently it will keep for about 2 months in the fridge but the yeast power will be best within a month.


Walnut and honey soda bread

breadFound this recipe in the Guardian. It was really easy to do and tasted great. The recipe says that you should leave the bread in the oven for 30-40 minutes but we found that 30 minutes was enough and probably a little bit less would be better. I guess that depends on your oven though, we put it on the bottom part of the oven as well.
It was really nice with some butter and sliced parmesan, the cheese and the slightly sweet bread was a nice combination.

Walnut and honey soda bread
Sweet and savoury at the same time, with an incredible depth of flavour, this quick bread is wonderful with cheese.
Serves six.

200g walnuts
200g honey
500g wholemeal flour
4 tsp baking powder
10g salt

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Divide the walnuts into two roughly equal piles. Put one half into a food processor or a mortar, then crush to a coarse powder. Using your hands, break the other pile of walnuts into large, rough chunks. Put the honey in a pan with 300ml water and heat gently until the honey dissolves.Put the flour, baking powder, salt and all the walnuts in a large bowl and combine. Pour in the honey water and mix to a soft dough.Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, shape it into a rough, round loaf and place on the oiled baking tray. Slice a deep cross into the top, going almost right the way through to the baking sheet.Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Remove, set aside to cool and serve immediately – at the very latest, eat within 24 hours.