I can bake some pretty good bread. Yeast and I are pretty good buddies. I grew up watching Alton Brown's sock puppet impersonations of his little fungi friends on Good Eats, and when I got old enough I started to try my hand at baking traditional loaves and other yeast-based treats like cinnamon rolls (which my mom and grandma are famous for). And they have all been pretty darn tasty. But there was one that was always just out of reach, one that I could never quite perfect or even come close to. The elusive sourdough. The days-to-weeks-long process was so intimidating to me, and the few times I tried different sorts of shortcut versions they turned out way too dense, did not rise, and had not even a hint of sourdough flavor. So I was pretty excited when I came home from Fairfax Backyard Farmer with all the specific materials I needed to achieve the perfect sourdough. And you know what? The sourdough I made with all the FBF products was really freaking delicious, but it still wasn't perfect! Because the most important ingredients in sourdough are planning, patience (lots of it), and consistency (even more of that). I'm going to include some personal anecdotes in the recipe below, so continue reading to learn from my mistakes and achieve real perfection!
MAKE YOUR OWN SOURDOUGH
NO-CULTURE STARTER INSTRUCTIONS
WITH-CULTURE STARTER INSTRUCTIONS
Man, that took a while didn't it? Hopefully now you have a beautiful, golden brown loaf of aromatic, crusty, chewy bread. Mine looked absolutely gorgeous when I took it out of the oven (as pictured above). However, I still made a lot of mistakes. My bread was still rather dense, and didn't have as strong a signature sourdough flavor as I was expecting. Below are some tips regarding where I think I went wrong and how you can avoid the same pitfalls.
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