I have been wanting to try my hand at homemade bread ever since reading Michael Pollan’s Cooked. Pollan makes the act of making bread by yourself just sound like one of the most interesting and rewarding processes. And since I am totally the type of person who likes to think I am more interesting than I actually am and enjoys bragging about things that most people do not care at all about, bread making sounded like the perfect activity for me!
I decided to make sourdough because, well it is delicious and because I honestly think fermentation is one of the most fascinating things ever. In order to make sourdough, a starter is needed. A starter is basically just a dough that is then fermented in order to create a loaf of sourdough bread. Sourdough is different from other types of bread considering yeast and lactobacilli are naturally derived from the fermentation process. See, fascinating. From what I’ve read, sourdough also seemed pretty easy to make. Above all else, you just need patience and consistency. Oh, and also some flour and water. But that’s it! The starter and dough take between 7 and 14 days so that is why patience is important. The starter also has to be fed and dealt with every day, twice a day. It’s like a baby. And who doesn’t want their own little sourdough baby living on top of their fridge. Okay, enough rambling. I really am just that excited about this bread.
Day 1 is pretty simple. Just gather your ingredients and materials which include: flour (I decided to go with whole grain because I like a challenge, but All-Purpose is recommended for first time bread makers), filtered/non-chlorinated water, a large bowl, a mixing utensil and some plastic wrap. In order to start your starter you just mix together 4 ounces of flour with 1/2 cup water. I decided to measure the flour in order to get a more precise measurement. Then cover with plastic wrap and store somewhere with a pretty stable temperature. You want to make sure your house is not too cold or it will take your starter a lot longer to grow. Research suggests storing your starter somewhere warm such as on top of your refrigerator to aid in the growth process.
That is ALL for Day 1. My sourdough starter is resting comfortably on top of my refrigerator and I will check in tomorrow after the first feeding!
Please comment below if you have bread-making experience and want to offer any handy tips or stories, or if you have decided to make your first starter along with me! We’re in this together!