I feel like there are lots of experiments going on here right now but I guess that is ok. How else will I know which garden method or recipe works best? I got the sourdough bug a couple weeks ago and began my experiment by “catching” my starter (sourdough starter catches wild yeast that is in the air). I didn’t want to purchase a starter in case I didn’t like sourdough bread so I made my own by using orange juice (for the first few days) and flour. After the starter became happy and was making lots of bubbles I used just plain filtered water and whole wheat flour to keep it going. It was a bit like a pet; it needed to be fed daily with more flour and water. Once I had a nice, yeasty smelling starter (it took about 2 weeks) I was ready to begin my bread.
I chose two different recipes to try. Sourdough made me a little nervous because I knew that I didn’t really like that super sour flavor in some of the breads I had had over the years, so I wondered if there was a way to minimize that flavor while still getting the benefits of sourdough. Two different recipes yielded very different results, as you can see.
The loaf on the left was mixed and kneaded the night before, refrigerated, and then taken out the next day, put in a pan and left to rise for about 5 hours. The left loaf (we will call it Sourdough 1) was a simple mixture of starter, flour, salt, and water. The loaf on the right (Sourdough 2) was a mixture of starter, milk, and flour left on the counter overnight, and then mixed up with some honey, salt, eggs, butter, and flour the next day. Each is made with 100% whole wheat flour. Different methods, different ingredients, definitely different tastes. As I am sure you can see, Sourdough 1 is dense, is a bit flat, and has a rather pronounced sourdough flavor. Sourdough 2 is light and fluffy, and while it has that signature sourdough flavor, it is not as overpowering but instead is rather pleasant.
Sourdough 2 is most like a regular loaf of bread and is the winner in this experiment! But, because I can’t leave well enough alone, I think there are a few modifications I am going to make to Sourdough 2 so I won’t share the recipe yet. So, check back for a new bread recipe in the next week or so! If you want to get your own starter started so you can be ready for my tweaked recipe, check out Whole Lifestyle Nutrition’s Sourdough Starter. Her post is excellent and easy to follow, and my sourdough starter turned out fabulous by following her general method. (The only change that I made was that I used whole wheat flour instead of spelt flour.)
Any recipe experimentation going on at your place?