Small Scale Sourdough
Around me, on Instagram and on blogs, I see people making sourdough bread, and they are doing it effortlessly. I appreciate that social media is very much a curated selection of the Best Bits, but even so, I never see a failed loaf, a burnt lump, a soggy-in-the-middle example. This can only mean, surely, that it's as easy as falling off a log.
I've had this Dan Lepard book for ages, since before Gavin was diagnosed as being Coeliac, and I've looked at it from time to time and thought the bread looked fabulous but there isn't much point when it's only me who will eat it. I even tried adapting the Leaven recipe and trying to make gluten free sourdough – it was a disaster.
But the other day, after we bought the new bread maker, I decided that this is silly, I can make sourdough for me, just as long as I make rolls rather than loaves. There are only two of us in the house (plus Boristhedog) and I will rapidly end up resembling a loaf (or five) if I make more than a couple of rolls at a time.
The making Leaven instructions (I am giving it a capital letter because it seems to be the VIP in this process) are comprehensive. I started yesterday morning and am now on day two. The Leaven has been stirred and fed and is sitting next to the Aga to allow it to do whatever Leaven does next. I only deviated from the instructions in adding sultanas rather than raisins to the mixture. Sultanas we have (for muesli and GF sultana cake) and I'm not going to buy a whole bag of raisins for two rounded teaspoons of the things.
The lumps are the sultanas, and it looks as though it's starting to make little bubbles.
So far, so good.
I'm thinking that it needs a proper name though. Leaven is rather a Sunday Name, don't you think? So, I'm thinking of calling it Lev, after fellow author Lev Parikian. His book Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? – a tale of being a lapsed birdwatcher, is going to be published in May.
Lev is also a blogger with a great newsletter.
His latest blogpost, is about handwriting, and words, and pen selection.
I'll report back on the life and bubbles of Lev when there is more to tell.
Also, I've decided to stop using Disqus for the comments for the moment. It seems to be getting in the way a bit. So far, the vote for the yarn to use first seems to be in favour of Clydebank, with Glasgow Sandstone trailing behind.
All sourdough enlightenments are welcome, please share your wisdom!