50before50: #31 make a sourdough loaf

Even though I am a huge fan of baking, I’ve never made bread before, so adding this project to the list was a no-brainer. I really, really adore sourdough and I like to make things challenging, so I settled on a sourdough loaf, which of course requires a starter.

There are about 200 million very different methods of creating a starter floating about on the InformationSuperhighway, which was both daunting and off-putting.

After a lot of reading, I decided to go with this one from theperfectloaf.com. Primarily because it does not add yeast (for a more hardcore starter experience), it uses some rye flour (which I’ve read makes for a better, more vigorous starter), it doesn’t call for loads of flour to start and the method is laid out incredibly clearly – if I can’t follow this there is seriously no hope for me! Plus the bread on that site looks utterly incredible.

We grabbed some organic white flour this morning and topped up the rye stash (which I’ve been using in rye & wholemeal chapatis as an accompaniment for tikka masala lentils – almost the best 5:2 meal ever) when we went grocery shopping this morning. Yep still, haven’t kicked the horrible weekend grocery shopping habit.

After I’d actioned a few items and run out to grab some bottled water, this afternoon I took a deep breath and kicked it off.

The starter requires really simple ingredients:

The two medium sized bowls held 400g each of rye and white organic flour. The big bowl contains them mixed together, I’d started mixing before I realised I should be documenting.


Despite that huge bowl of mixed flour, we only use 40g of the flour mix and 40g of the water to start:

The rest of the flour will be used for feeding over the coming days.


After mixing together:

The result was a little drier than I was expecting, but I’m going to roll with it.


My starter-creature is contained in this unsealed (it needs to breathe) medium-sized jar on a warm shelf:

Now we wait 24 hours and hope that it has doubled in size, before adding more flour and water.

I’ll report back on progress.

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