Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sourdough (1)

I've decided to try to raise a sourdough tamagotchi. I was reading up on it, and it's less trouble than I thought, and this is probably the best time of year to start it.

The basic idea of a sourdough is that you mix flour and water and wait for wild yeast to develop and start fermenting. While you're establishing the dough, you regularly throw away half of what you have and feed it with more flour. I think the idea is that this selects for yeasts that like flour so that they prosper at the expense of more promiscuous yeasts.

One of the versions I've read suggests that the wild yeast is more likely to come from the flour itself, rather than from the Catford air. That seems to make sense, and it's why I'm using organic wholewheat flour, where there's more chance that yeast from the outside of the grains will be present.

Unsurprisingly, accounts differ on the amounts to use, but I've gone for equal weights of flour and water. I started with 50g of each, but that looked pathetically small, so I've doubled that. The dough is now sitting in a bowl on top of the fridge, covered with clingfilm. I'll check it again tomorrow, and meanwhile hope that the plums I bought today will be sharing their bloom with the kitchen air.

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