|Whole grain, the simplest beginning|
What I needed was somebody to help me get started. Somebody to initiate me into the mysteries of baking sourdough bread. Happily such a person came along: good friend Lyn of the Logan Bakehouse. She, along with the invaluable published works of Scotland's sourdough guru, Andrew Whitely, taught me most of what I know about sourdough.
The first thing is to demystify the subject. There's a lot of odd 'folk knowledge' about sourdough floating around out there. The simple truth is that sourdough bread baking is no more difficult than using commercial bread yeast. It does involve keeping a starter culture in your fridge and the proving step does take longer but you end up with a better tasting, better keeping and more nutritious result AND you don't have to keep buying bread yeast.
|A bit of exercise to get the freshest ingredients.|
To keep things simple, stick with just a rye starter. It's the easiest to maintain and you can use it to start off wheat (or other more exotic grain) loaves as well. The whole process is amazingly flexible. Once you have a feel for it, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
|Rye starter: very liquid|
Now, there's a loaf still warm from the oven. Time for dinner, I think.
Next time: Baking the loaf