Before Christmas I had been making sourdough bread and we were really enjoying it and then I put my starter in the fridge to keep it alive during all the Christmas preparations. When I got it out I forgot to feed it and it went off, really off, I was wondering what the BAD smell was and you guessed it, it was my starter. So off to the chooks (chickens) it went, I was attached to it, but not that much.
About 2 weeks ago I started another one and it has been bubbling away merrily. As I was going about my business around the blogosphere I came across a sour dough pasta post and I thought I just had to give it a go.
I started my starter by using equal amounts of flour and water daily for a week before using it. After a week you should see clear signs of fermentation.
I’ve made some bread with it using whole wheat flour (ground it myself) but it wasn’t quite right, so I will try again adding a bit more white flour.
I haven’t really made pasta before so I was thrilled that I could use my starter.
Anyway I found a pasta recipe, tweaked it to suit and it was great. I did need to make the noodles thicker than normal but they tasted great and were nice with the bacon and vegetable sauce I made to go with them.
Here’s the recipe, give it a go if you have time and don’t worry that they may not look store bought – that isn’t the point.
1 cup sourdough starter
3 cups flour
Place your flour in your mixing bowl and add starter, eggs and salt, and mix until it comes together to form a ball.
Allow the dough to sit (covered) for a few hours or overnight (I left mine overnight).
When you are ready to make your pasta just put the dough onto a floured surface and knead a little until smooth. Roll out as thin as you can and slice into whatever size noodle you like.
Your noodles are ready to cook now or you can dry them out on the counter.
Keep an eye on these noodles as you are boiling them as they will boil over if you aren’t careful (learnt that one from experience).
This amount of noodles served our family of 3 adults and 2 children quite nicely.
Then after the noodles turned out so well I thought I’d give pizza a go to take for our beach day last week.
This was yummy even though we ate it cold and it was great reheated the next day for lunch.
3 cups of starter
2 tablespoons olive oil (and a little for brushing)
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour (maybe a little more if needed for the right consistency)
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until it comes together to form a ball. If the mixture is too dry add more starter and if too wet add more flour.
All the dough to rest for 30 minutes or more and when you are ready to make your pizzas roll the mixture out on a floured surface until the desired shape and thickness.
I got four pizzas out of this amount, two to eat straight away and two to freeze for another day.
I did rectangle ones and they fitted nicely on my baking trays.
Now you are only going to partly bake this base for about 6 minutes. Once done remove them from the oven and brush them with olive oil. Then top with your favourite toppings and bake until browned and cheese is melted.
They were delicious and I now have two in the freezer when I want a quick easy meal. I am going to try and bake some more this week and get a few more in the freezer.
To get my starter up again I feed it with a cup of flour and a cup of water daily.
If you haven’t tried sour dough before I hope this gives you the encouragement you need to just give it a go.
Now I’m off to make sourdough pancakes for breakfast.
I have been enjoying watching the program “River Cottage Garden” which is based in the UK (You can Google them and look at their website). On one of these episodes they were making sourdough bread. Now before No 1 daughter was married she used to make sourdough bread for us, and did a great job, but it always seemed so confusing to me and I didn’t really pay too much attention to how she went about it.
On this episode they explained it so simply and it seemed such an easy thing to do, so I gave it a try.
That evening I started my starter and fed it for a week. I started it by mixing equal quantities of flour and water (I think I used a cup each). At this stage I only had white flour so that was what I used. Once I had mixed it I placed it in a glass jar and loosely covered it with glad wrap.
I kept feeding the starter daily using equal quantities of flour and water. I mixed this separately and then gently stired it into my starter.
After a week you should see clear signs of fermentation.
I did so I started using it…. (this is exciting) The recipe from River Cottage Garden stated that you make a sponge mixture the night before you want to bake bread. So you get a bowl and measure out 500 grams flour and then add 700 ml warm water. Mix this together and then add 2 soup ladles of the starter, mix again.
Cover the bowl with glad wrap (cling wrap) and leave in a warm place over night.
The next morning take the bowl and add another 600 grams flour and 20 grams of salt. Mix well until flour is all taken up.
Place a few drops of olive oil on the bench and your hands so that the mixture doesn’t stick. Turn out the mix and knead.
Place in a greased bread tin.
Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm position until double in size (I leave mine on the shelf above our wood stove). This takes somewhere between 4 and 6 hours depending on the warmth in the room.
Keep an eye on the bread and when it looks almost ready preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
Bake for 45 mins. Turn out onto a tea towel when warm and wrap up.
I have just purchased a grinder and I now use fresh ground wheat flour.
In the morning when I add the extra flour I use 300 grams of white. When I use all ground wheat I get a hole in the middle, but adding the white stops that problem.
This is a double recipe, you can halve it if you like a smaller loaf.
I have made this into fruit bread too, just add fruit and spices in the morning when adding the second lot of flour.
To keep your starter going just keep feeding it equal quantities of flour and water daily. I feed mine after taking out the ladle for the sponge mixture at night.
This bread is really filling and I find that instead of eating almost a loaf for breakfast we only go through half a loaf, and it is really good for you too.
I also use this mix for pizza bases – I will post this soon.
If you have any ideas on stopping the hole in the middle when using all wheat flour – I’d love to know about it please.
Please let me know how you go if you try this recipe…