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sleep deprivation, I has it


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Super Sourdough

Super Sourdough

20 June 2021

I approach this, not as an artisanal baker who creates crusty, perfectly rustic sourdough loaves, but as someone who is lazy, but also cheapskate and simultaneously desiring a lifestyle that creates less waste.

Bubbly sourdough starter

First, the starter. I use regular plain flour, and followed this recipe from Baked. It really is as easy as it seems. Mix flour and water together, cover lightly, and wait a day. Add more flour and water, and repeat every day. It should be ready in about five days. My starter's been nurtured for a few years, and it only needs a weekly feed as I keep it in the fridge.

(And no, I haven't named my starter.)

There's a lot of waiting in baking with sourdough, which appeals to my laziness. But, I do need to consider the timings. Making an active starter from one that's been napping in the fridge takes about 12 hours, and the time from mixing the dough to actually doing something with it is usually another 12.

The first sourdough recipe that kicked it all off was this no-knead everyday sourdough bread, baked in in our cast iron casserole pot. While it tastes good, the feedback is it's a bit of a pain to slice.

Sliced sandwich bread
Wholemeal sandwich loaf — great for toast. We can't eat a whole loaf before it goes stale and/or mouldy, so slices are bagged up and frozen.
Wholemeal rolls
Soft rolls — bake them at a slightly higher temperature and they end up a little like Scottish morning rolls.
Wholemeal muffins
Muffins — extra patience is needed when cooking, and measuring it by weight gives a much better result. The family also prefers the crumb produced by using bread flour instead of plain flour.

When you're feeding your starter, you may end up with extra that can live in the fridge until you need it next. But sometimes you end up with a lot. And to avoid wasting the ‘discard’, as it's called, you can use it to make other things, like tortillas, pancakes, and flatbreads. The flatbread recipe is by far my favourite, because it's so versatile. I've make topped flatbreads, pizzas, calzones, and — when I couldn't be arsed to get the frying pan out because the oven was already on — pitta bread.

All this because I want to stop buying so many things in single-use packaging.