My father has been baking bread weekly for years. He uses a sour dough starter that dates back to the civil war and his bread is to die for because of it. How is he using sour dough that is over a century old? Sour dough starter can be dried and past down through generations and added to bread recipes for practically ever. My dad received his starter from an old family friend that had gotten it from a relative years before. It’s strong, pungent and very sour. He just uses a little each time so it’s not overwhelming. He adds to the liquid starter to keep it going year after year. It’s amazing that there are still bacteria and other yummy creatures that have been kickin’ it since Lincoln’s time. He once gave me some of the starter to try to bake my own bread, but sadly, I didn’t store it correctly and it grew mold rendering it useless.
I recently started baking my own bread, sans sour dough starter. First white, then wheat. Miles and I definitely prefer the wheat. Kofi says he prefers the white. Eh, to each his own I guess. To me the very best part of baking your own bread is the smell that fills the house for pretty much the whole day. Also, the chance to cut a hunk off the end while it’s still warm and slather it with butter that gets all melty mmm… what was I saying?
Knowing exactly what is in the bread that Miles is eating makes the process totally worth it. I hate reading labels and finding all the crap that companies put in seemingly nutritious food. It just makes more sense to me to make it myself, even if it means more time in the kitchen. The longest part of the process is letting the dough raise, which lets me do pretty much anything I want for 40 minutes to an hour and a half. I hope to get it down to a science so that I can bake a couple of loaves every week and not have to buy any at the store, like my parents. Good, organic bread is pretty expensive to buy and it doesn’t make your house smell all bready when you bring it home.
The recipe that I’ve been using is from the Naked Chef cookbook. It Makes 2 loaves of gorgeous, scrumptious bread. I’m still working on getting it just right. So far, I have had to add more water to the recipe than what it calls for each time. My father says that it may just be extra dry four or the lack of humidity in the air. I’m having fun with it though and Kofi is certainly enjoying being my guinea pig.