I transferred the mix to a large jar and fed him (yes the sourdough starter does have a gender) almost daily for a week with flour and water. He had a good layer of ‘hooch’ floating on top, and when it came to baking, I just mixed this in and included it as well rather than skimming it off.
I used this recipe for a rustic sourdough bread, but I also added raisins and walnuts as I was worried the starter would be sweet from the initial sugar and would therefore need sweet counterparts to offset this. I accidentally added an extra cup of water so I spent a while adding more flour, and a bit more sourdough to try and get the right texture dough.
In general the dough was super sticky and it was really hard washing up the bowl/getting the dough off me. I’m not sure if this is to do with the sourdough or because I added the extra water?
It took a while to rise and I was terrified of failure but actually it rose as per the recipe and the timings given were pretty much perfect. For my second loaf I left it overnight for the first rise and then cooked the following day but this didn’t really make a noticeable difference.
The bread itself was delicious! It also looked gorgeous and like a real bakery bread. The trick given in the recipe is to put warm water on top and slash the top before popping it in the oven; this was really effective in giving it a crispy crust, and also having it look professional.
I basically ate a whole loaf by myself, sometimes toasted sometimes plain, always with lots of butter…
I will go for a plain loaf next time without the walnuts and raisins (I’m fairly confident the starter is no longer that sugary and that a sweet flavour won’t impart to anything I bake with it), and also will maybe try a savoury loaf with garlic, olives, herbs etc.
Joffrey is doing really well, my creepy sourdough baby is growing bigger every day….
*Since this post, Joffrey has become slightly difficult. It was only a matter of time right? More to come.