Your daily bread: Sourdough

Sourdough BreadNo longer having the easy access to Arbutus Bread that was one of the perks of my job in Urru Mallow, I’ve gone back to baking my own. At the moment I’m on rotation between three different breads – the Seedy Spelt Bread that I mentioned a few weeks ago, a Brown Yeast Loaf that still needs a bit of work and my old favourite, the Sourdough that I mastered while in Ballymaloe.

My starter is still alive and kicking, despite having most of a year sitting and doing very little in the fridge. Luckily, I fed it during the demo I did for the Conversations on a Farmers’ Market in Urru so it didn’t get totally neglected.

Before I started using it again this year, I gave it a few feeds of flour and (non-chlorinated) water and it wasn’t long before it was bubbling up and over the jar. Now, as you can see, it’s totally back to life, producing two gorgeous loaves of Sourdough Bread from each baking.

But time’s running out – lacking a fridge of sufficient size to slowly rise the dough overnight, I’ve been putting it into our spare room, window left open, so that it can take it’s time. Now, with the onset of milder weather, I’m wondering if my sourdough window of opportunity is closing. There’s no way that little fridge is going to fit two baskets of dough and it’s just not worth doing one at a time. I’m just going to have to figure out another way of managing it.

Caroline

Caroline

Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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7 Responses

  1. laura says:

    Hi Caroline,Why don’t you get a coolbox or two? You can put the dough in those with some ice elements? It might be worth a try.

  2. Jane says:

    Hey Caroline – continiously fascinated by the amount of info up there – just had another peek. Great to meet you last night, see you soon. J

  3. Caroline says:

    That’s a great idea, Laura, especially as the Husband has some cool boxes around the house for his brewing activities. I’d better check that they still work as cool boxes and haven’t been modified for other purposes!Thanks for the compliment, Jane! Best of luck with your own venture.

  4. Lucy says:

    Your sourdough bread looka gorgeous – the crust looks yummmy and crunchy 🙂 Loving your blog: learning lots about Ireland!

  5. Caroline says:

    When that Sourdough works, it’s the best bread in the world! We could eat our way through the two loaves in double quick time but I always try to grab some of it for the freezer before it disappears. It’s always nice to have some kept aside for Sunday morning French Sourdough Toast!

  6. Alan Tennyson says:

    Found my way here from Twitter and what a pleasent surprise! Your blog is brilliant! I am living in Bandon at the mo so I get my fix of Artbutus bread from Ruth. Also doing Declan’s course, have the second night tonight. I have had few weeks of very sour dough now and those San Fran and German guys might be on to something. Def an aquired taste but once you aquire it other bread just does not seem bready enought. Love the blog, keep up the good work! A

  7. Caroline says:

    Lovely to hear from you, Alan, and thank you for the compliment! Are you still selling your own bread at the Bandon Farmers’ Market?I would love to be able to make it to Declan’s breadmaking course at some stage. I spent a night in his bakery while in Ballymaloe and had a ball (albeit a slightly dazed one after 24 hours awake). His Turkish baker is brilliant, really took the time to show me how to form the different breads.My sourdough starter is currently “resting” in the fridge as summertime is no good for making it around here. It’s gotten so cold in the last few days, though, that it might be time to feed and revive it for another round of baking. Mine is pretty sour now but it still can’t compete with the dense, tangy breads that I ate in Germany.

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