This last two weeks I have had a little project. It was to start my own sourdough and bake bread from it. Tonight we had the first slices of it. It actually tasted really good, like the one mum made when I was a kid.
Sourdough is a bit of a project in itself. It takes a while to start it, but they say it is easier if you have the right kind of flour to start from. In the beginning of September we got some rye flour at the old mill where we live. (It’s an old mill that is preserved as a museum, but they run it and make flour a few days every year). The flour was organic too, this because you need as much of the natural yeast that starts the sourdough and as little other things like leftovers from pesticides or fertilizers.
To start all this I had a little help. We have two good books about baking bread: (Both in Swedish)
Gateaus brödbok by Claes Christenson (brödbok = bread book) that I have used a lot before to make my Sunday buns. It has all kinds of bread in it, but mostly yeast based ones.
Surdegsbröd by Martin Johansson (surdegsbröd = sourdough bread) that I used to get my sourdough started and some ideas how to bake the bread, like using a thermometer to know if the bread is ready instead of just timing the baking.
None of these books has simple plain sourdough bread in it. (Okay some are fairly simple, but not just rye, water and salt). And I wanted to start out with a rye bread that was just that simple and German. So where to look, our good friend Google sent me to this page: chefkoch.de that helped me with the last part. I did half the amount in the recipe, I didn’t want to waste too much rye if I failed and our food processor might retire if I have a too big dough in it.
Just a few lines about our food processor, it’s a few years old, actually I don’t know how many as I got it second hand from my grandmother some years ago. It is one of the kinds where the bowl and the hook turns, makes a lot of noise and is a bit tricky to get clean. When I lived by myself I had it packed away above the fridge, making it a bit of a project just to use it, needless to say I didn’t use it very much then. Now we have it standing on the counter so it’s just to start it whenever it is needed. It also has a vegetable chopping part and a blender.
Back to the bread:
As I had started I decided that I would use sunflower seeds in it to give it some extra taste. I really like sunflower seeds; they fit perfectly in bread too.
As the bread got ready, the baking took a lot shorter than what the recipe said, I wanted the bread to be 98°C inside as I had learned from the book on sourdough and that took only about 45 minutes not 1 hour and 15 minutes as the recipe sais, I wonder how the bread would have been if I had waited that long?
After dinner (we had Penne with a mushroom, tomato and crème fraiche sauce) we all had a slice of the bread. It was wonderful. I never imagined that I would actually be this successful on the first try. Sure I have been baking Sunday breakfast buns for a while now, but still, first loaf of bread, first sourdough bread and first bread I made that was only rye. It tasted just like when I was a kid.