Sour dough

Well my kefir babies are slowly making their way around Bedford. I have given away eight colonies and I have two people waiting for more.

The lovely thing is, I gave my friend Sarah from staying awake some babies a week or two ago and not only has she already divided and shared them, but she returned the favour by sending me some sour dough starter.
I've never actually tried to make sour dough, and thanks to the report on not so friendly Amish bread on I thought I might just skip it all together; but I do love growing things in my kitchen so I thought I'd give it a go.

It's surprisingly easy. I never really follow instructions properly and I really wanted to make my first loaf in one day, so I rushed through feedings and proving, never letting it sit for longer than four hours, but the bread was great!

I get away with rushing things by having access to a sauna.
Unfortunately, not a real sauna, but a massive boiler room to the boarding house that is accessed from our hallway. Between that and the cold storage in the basement (great from jams and homebrew storage) this old house is a domestic goddess's haven.

So I sat my dough on a shelf in the boiler room, next to the rock candy we're growing, and it doubled in size within two hours.

The bread was springy and airy despite the fact I only kneaded it for about two minutes (and the recipe clearly stated fifteen).

In fact, it was so easy I'm going to have another go with sprouted grain flour tomorrow. See if I don't get better results than I did with the bread machine.

- Kj


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