Wild yeast bread

I’ve been baking bread for years but have only recently decided to experiment with sourdough, bread made with wild yeast in the form of a starter, or “mother”.

My “mother” is feisty and active, and I’ve called her Fran after a certain lady I once knew of the same temperament. I started her several weeks ago. She sits in a jar in my fridge gradually maturing and is starting to provide the most wonderful bread.

My hope is that by the time we’re on the island and a fair hop away from the local shops that we won’t have to rely on them for fresh bread, especially if the weather is bad, but that Fran will be turning out a loaf every few days.

Sourdough is an ancient form of bread and is easy to make (starter, flour, salt and water) although there is a bewildering amount of conflicting advice out there on t’interweb.

As with all things, this will take patience and a gradual coming into what works for my oven and me over time. I’ve made five sourdough loaves so far, two rye, three with stoneground wheat flour, and I’m still working through the best way to do this. The latest attempt, shown above, was from a baking in a pot in the oven and looks the most successful so far ☺️.

I’m off to slice this for breakfast now. Have a wonderful Sunday!

12 Replies to “Wild yeast bread”

  1. There’s no better food than fine bread and this one looks delicious. I’m still quite new to baking sourdough too and I agree that there’s a lot of confusing ‘advice’ out there and that using a pot makes all the difference – I use an old Le Creuset casserole dish.

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    1. That’s perfect. I no longer have any of my old le creuset pans – I left them in France when I moved from the house there a few years ago – so I use a big old copper stew pan with a lid that fits the bread nicely. I’ve also bought a bread stone (which is just a cast iron skillet really) but I didn’t get as good results from that so I’m using that for scones ☺️. Best of luck with your bread endeavours!

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  2. Himself is the bread maker, so I’m not really qualified to comment. It seemed to me that we always produced more of the starter culture that we could actually use, even with using some of the surplus for sourdough pancakes. So in the end we went back to dried yeast. We miss the taste of sourdough bread, but homemade bread is always delicious and a vital part of island life.

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    1. You should revisit sourdough. It’s so much better for digestion, and I know that it seems like a waste but you can always throw it away if it’s excess.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you like, you can have some of my sourdough starter? It’s traditional to pass it on, and I could bring in a small jar of it to get you started one day when we’re both in the same office? Then all you do is feed her, and you’re away!

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      1. I never would have guessed you were still a novice! Whatever you did with this bread, keep it up. It is beautiful! Are you going to participate in our bake-off? This loaf of bread would definitely be in the running as a winner. it is already a winner in my books! 🙂

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