I think it is pretty clear that I like to bake bread and assorted bread products, but for the most part I shy away from sourdough based breads. Maybe this is blasphemy, but I only like the flavor in certain situations – I would rather have a non-sour loaf hanging around the house. I didn’t really grow up with sourdough bread, so I will just go with the fact that I may never have acquired a true love and appreciation of the taste.
So moving on… I did find a recipe for a starter that interested me, mostly because of the process. You peel four organic apples, add some wheat flour and sugar, let it sit out, and bam sourdough. I used this recipe from New Scandinavian Cooking for the starter and this recipe for the loaf of bread.
I found the directions a bit limited (even though I had watched the episode) and, if I remember correctly, slightly different from the technique used in the show. I followed the starter recipe to the T, but in the bread recipe I substituted some bread flour in for some of the wheat flour (I was running low) and used hazelnut oil in place of the rapeseed oil. I did use more water than was called for as my dough was originally very stiff.
So, did it work? It did, though it does require more patience than I possess. I probably should have let the dough rise more, but it had already been rising for 24 hours when I punched it down and shaped it into the baking pans. Again, I probably should have waited a little longer before popping them in the oven. Overall they did rise, but were still dense. The sourdough flavor was definitely present, so if you are a fan give it a try.
Would I make it again? I am keeping the starter alive in my fridge for a while longer and plan to try out some other bread recipes of my own. I will probably use the starter to make a sponge that will sit out overnight to develop flavor, then make a yeast fortified dough with the starter (to hopefully lighten the loaf and increase the rise time). I think this falls under a cool science experiment-like project for me, so unless I have a kid who needs to learn about naturally occurring yeast and fermentation this recipe will go back to the shelf.
I’m just not that into sourdough.