Last year I went on an ‘around the world’ holiday with my husband and family covering Hong Kong, Australia and San Francisco.
We ate a lot of food on the holiday but one of the great memories is eating sandwiches made with sourdough bread bought from – Boudin’s Bakery on the Wharf
They had the bread being made fresh in the window day and night and then being placed on a magical system, like a small rollercoaster for bread, which delivered it straight from the bakery next door to the shop! The sourdough bread was fantastic and I thought that it would be something lovely and simple that I could make when I returned back to England. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Sourdough isn’t a simple recipe and after researching quite a few this morning I have realised that it is going to take some planning and practice to create the best sourdough.
You see, sourdough isn’t like a normal bread using yeast – it uses a starter. This is a fermented mixture of flour and water which is left to ferment in a warm place and then fed with more flour until it changes from a nasty-smelling mix to a sweet-smelling one. Then you use the starter as a type of yeast, but not in the usual way, you have made the sponge which is made by mixing some of the starter with fresh flour and left over night.
All of this bubbling and fermenting is what gives the sourdough its lovely flavour and creates a nice heavy-ish bread.
Then finally after all of this process the bread, which can take up to 2 weeks in total, can be made.
I think I am going to need a bit more practice at making the simple loaves before I can move onto this complicated one and in the mean time I will just have to think of my happy memories of eating it in sunshine in San Francisco.