Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Project Sourdough: Starter and Tasting Updates

Tetsuya's sourdough rolls

Project Sourdough has been going for just under two weeks now. Initially my starter was going very well. Up until the first split it was growing daily and bubbling nicely. I was thinking that if it carried on like this, in just over three weeks I would have quit work and opened a bakery.

Pride comes before a fall. Ever since the first split, things have been going downhill. I'm not sure if I've done something wrong or the fact that the weather has turned cooler over the last five days, but my starter definitely isn't happy. Clear liquid has appeared on the top which my book says could mean the starter is too cold, hungry or has left this world. I've been doing all sorts of funny things to try and warm it up and given it some honey too.

If every cloud has a silver lining, it is that the lovely food blogging community has been giving me advice and offers of help.

Brasserie Bread, batard

I've been embarking on some 'market research'. After eating the Bourke St Bakery sourdough I wasn't sure that it was a loaf I wanted to replicate. The inside of the bread was light and airy with a good flavour, but the crust was too thick and chewy.

Tetsuya's roll had a fabulous thin and crunchy crust, but the bread inside wasn't anything to write home about. Brasserie Bread was somewhere in the middle. The crust was better than Bourke St, but not was good as Tetsuya's, the dough inside was the opposite.

Next up on my 'to eat' list are the Sanoma sourdough and a loaf from Bakers Delight. Bakers Delight might seem and odd choice, but I reason that it is probably Sydney's best selling sourdough even if it isn't the finest.

Here's hoping I actually manage to bake and edible loaf....

UPDATE: The second starter I had begun has shown more activity in 24hrs than the first one was displaying. The original is in the bin as I must have killed it somehow. Perhaps some bad bacteria got in there? I'm still determined to bake a loaf next weekend. Here's hoping I don't have to use any yeast!

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