This was my first attempt at making sourdough bread. The results were tasty but was it really sourdough?

Sourdough bread is bread made with a starter culture rather than conventional yeast.

A starter is usually made by mixing flour to water and letting the natural yeast in the environment do its thing. Over several days the starter is fed with more water and flour. Usually half the mixture is discarded and replaced with the same amount of flour and water to feed it.

I’ve never tried to make it before and was keen to have a go. I’ve never made bread before except until very recently with a bread machine.

The sourdough being kneaded in the bread machine

The sourdough being kneaded in the bread machine

And the bread machine that I bought had a recipe for sourdough, so I thought why not give that a try first.

The bread machine recipe was a little different than I expected. It only required the starter to ferment over 24 hours and used regular shop bought yeast and yoghurt.

This seemed like a bit of a cheat to me. Or, to be missing out on the traditional method of making the starter.

I followed the instructions and got a tasty loaf.

Though I’m not sure it rose properly.

That might have been due to me not following the recipe exactly.

Thinking about it I used different flour in the starter (rye) than I did for the main ingredient (wholemeal). This might have been a mistake. If the yeast and bacteria are feeding on one type of flour then the ones that like that flour will thrive the most. So then using that starter for a different flour is probably not going to work as well as one whose culture is made from the same sort of flour.

It’s a learning process!

Next time I’ll use the same flour for my culture as for main loaf.

Also it was pointed out to me that I threw the yeast and salt on together rather than making separate hollows in the flour for them. You can see this in the video at 5:57. In the instructions you see the diagram that shows two separate spots for the salt and yeast and then you see me casually throwing them in on top of each other. This might have had something to do with it.

But before I do that I want to make a sourdough loaf the traditional way, that will be my next project….