Homemade Sourdough

by Ann Marie Michaels on January 20, 2008

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I have been feeding my new pet for a week. With fresh (so fresh it’s frozen) whole grain rye flour (organic, naturally) and warm distilled water. It’s been bubbling and growing happily in its gallon glass jar in the corner of the kitchen.

So today — I decided it was stable enough, and I fed it one last time and then mixed it into a dough. Using the recipe from Nourishing Traditions, I used spelt flour (whole grain, organic, also frozen — to retain freshness). I kneaded it for a good 15-20 minutes. Then I poured it into a Le Creuset stoneware loaf pan, slashed it with a knife, and let it rest in a warm oven.

Within about 5 hours, it had doubled in size! It looked like a proper loaf of bread, albeit unbaked.

By then it was 8:30 pm, and we had already given up and ordered take-out sushi (I had sashimi and ONE piece of sushi — since I’m low-carbing).

So I punched it down again and put it back to bed.

I’ll bake it in the morning.

I’m really excited! How silly to be so excited over a loaf of bread. But it’s more than that. There is something so comforting about baking real sourdough bread. It takes you back to your ancestors. This is the way people have been doing it for centuries.

I hope it tastes good. I’ll eat one slice only — since I’m low-carbing. I’ve decided to allow myself bread once a week. That’s reasonable! If it slows my weight loss, so be it. I may get hit by a bus tomorrow, and I want to eat some bread before that happens.

And yes, I’m going to put LOTS of butter on it. Or some good raw cheese. I just bought 3 French varieties from Whole Foods. And maybe some honey (a tiny bit — since I’m low-carbing). RAW honey, mais bien sur.

UPDATE: My sourdough bread came out great!

Sourdough bread

I know, there’s a big hole in the bottom. That’s because when I took it out of the loaf pan, some of it got stuck to the bottom.

I made it with spelt, so it’s denser than the typical loaf. We are used to that, though, since we love German pumpernickel and rye breads. I loved the sour, nutty flavor of my bread. It was so delicious slathered with butter. It would be good, too with cheese or liverwurst (and more butter).

I was good and only ate once slice. I promptly sliced it and stuck it in the freezer. I’ll have another piece next week.

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