My Fifth "Child"

One of my primary motivators to bake is my quest for amazing, local sourdough bread. The Twin Cities bakery scene certainly has some contenders but I wasn't always satisfied, perhaps because I was spoiled for so many years with authentic San Francisco sourdough bread.

I started researching how to get started on homemade sourdough a few years ago. Many websites encourage you to find a bakery or individual who can pass along some of their starter. I did this and it turned out okay but not amazing. Once I realized how easy it is to start one from scratch, I knew I was on the right path. I have to give credit to my little brother for sharing a solid recipe for sourdough starter and loaves. Thanks, bro!

This is my starter before a feeding

After a few hours...

It's really incredible to watch what happens after removing half the starter and replacing it with equal parts flour and water. This process of activating the starter is repeated a few times before being used for baking. The natural yeast in the air is all this starter needs to give a lift to my loaves.

Notice the bubbles...very important!

I've been asked why orders for sourdough need to be placed a couple of days before they are available. As you can see above, there are many stages to preparing the starter in advance. Once the starter is active and bubbly, the dough starts to come together, which requires about a day's worth of rising and developing the sour flavor. If you've had decent sourdough bread, you know the wait is worth it!

And there it is! I nice crusty loaf of bread with a soft, airy interior that makes up about 65% of my diet!

If you live in the Twin Cities area and are interested in learning how to make sourdough bread, please contact me. I'd be happy to share some starter with you or help you make your own. Otherwise, it will always be on my weekly menu!