Somewhere in my brain there is a synapse that bolts to life and says to my little crafty soul, “you could make that”. It happens when I see a beautifully knitted jumper, it’s happened a lot with crochet recently (yes, the dark side is approaching rapidly), and I’m completely powerless to resist if it kicks in on baking.
I love making bread, cakes, biscuits, and even crazy things like a 70-something profiterole croquembouche, but bread especially. I mean, first you get to punch out all your frustrations and the day’s irritations into the dough, leaving you in a perfectly equable frame of mind to enjoy the first slice, steaming hot and inevitably crooked. Home made bread never lasts long in our house.
I love sourdough but I’d never tried to make it until recently. I started with Kat’s recipe for a starter from Housewife Confidential, and it got going nicely and I had a couple of loaves out of it before it ran away from me; we just don’t eat bread fast enough, and I was putting far more flour into maintaining the starter than in making a loaf and it grew and grew and grew and grew and well, I may have euthanized it.
But in this month’s Country Living (the one with the beautiful cover kitchen), there are instructions for a sourdough starter that works in teaspoons; much more size-appropriate for our three bear family. And what else to do with a sourdough starter but try a loaf (recipe again from Country Living):
It’s a very pretty loaf of bread; after it’s shaped you snip into the crown with kitchen scissors to make a pointy sunshine crown on top (a trick I’m definitely borrowing for round yeast loaves in the future), and it is a gorgeous golden brown, and completely delicious and moreish. What it isn’t …