My first sourdough 2 years ago was a pleasant success, but was stolen (long, weird story). I have since started two new starters, one with milk and regular active-dry yeast, and the other with malt and no dairy. It's been so long since I had a starter, and I'm not sure yet which feeding cycles I want to choose. I just started these TODAY, so I have to decide soon. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Okay so my first starter was stolen. But, whoever thought there were goodies or some money in that bag were highly mistaken and very disappointed :) they got a healthy, 3-month-old, fermented sourdough starter and probably didn't even know what it was. I've started another but this time I added milk. It called for half a cup but since I'm vegan I did 1/4 c dairy milk and 1/4 c almond milk. I was scared almond milk wouldn't do what dairy does and might ruin the recipe. It's moving along very slowly and I'm worried it won't turn out but patience will tell. Since then, I've experimented with different recipes. I got one of Paul Hollywood's books and made a brioche the other day. It turned out pretty good but now how I wanted it to. Practice makes perfect! I'll just have to try it again. I want to try out a saffron bread and maybe invest in mastika or mechlebe but I'm hesitant because it's so expensive! Has anyone ever baked with mastika or mechlebe?
Ok, so I just made my first ever sourdough bread. My pet (starter) took over a week to ferment since it's cool up here. Surprisingly, my starter was perfect (thanks to some advice from my grandpa). I let it sit in the fridge for about a week and, once we ran out of our other breads (I have a sister who bakes bread also), I decided it was time to bust out the starter and test my skills. I followed some recipe on the Internet...probably not that smart but it seemed pretty legit and it was made in a really old-fashioned way. I know alot about the chemistry of baking, the gluten and yeast, the ethanol and carbon dioxide..so I was really careful making this. I let it rise about 12 hours, turned it out, and let it rise another 5. The baking was a different story. I wasn't sure about the temperature because the recipe I followed called for an iron-cast dutch pan and I don't have one of those and I can't buy one (college) so I kind of browsed around. I baked it at 325 for about 30 minutes and when it was still really doughy I upped it to 425 (the original temp it called for) and it took about an hour to cook. It's still kind of doughy in the middle but it's nice and crunchy! I wish I cuold use steam in my oven but it breaks a seal on the outside and just lets the steam out. Better luck next time?