If you fancy making your own sourdough starter to bake your own bread at home, I’ve shared the steps I followed to make my first loaf…
I’ve baked bread! Or at least, I tried to bake bread for the first time this week and I was pretty chuffed with the results. I’m sure my loaf could be better but for a first attempt, I was happy. The reason for my sudden interest in baking is two-fold; firstly, I found out how to make a sourdough starter and, secondly, I got a new stand mixer that I wanted to put to the test.
Here’s the link to the sourdough starter recipe to get you going. I had NO idea that all you needed was flour and water to make your own starter. And I didn’t know that once you’ve got a starter on the go, you can keep it living for months (actually, I’ve heard of sourdough starters living for years!) just by ‘feeding’ it with more flour and water.
MY TIPS FOR MAKING A SOURDOUGH STARTER
- Use filtered water
- Set a reminder on your phone to ‘feed’ your starter every day
- Make a mark on the outside of the jar to monitor the growth of your starter
- Use a large kilner jar to give the starter space to bubble up
- Don’t use a seal on the kilner jar while you’re growing the starter
My husband and I decided to have a go at making our own sourdough when we got our first stand mixer last month. VonShef kindly sent me the mixer to review and what better way to put it to the test than with a bread recipe? It’s a cool retro design that fits into our kitchen perfectly. But the thing I was most excited was that the mixer has a kneading attachment…
Yes, it takes the effort out of kneading bread wahoo! I can’t emphasise how much I don’t like kneading bread. But I also can’t emphasise enough how much I love fresh, home-baked bread too. Nonetheless, if baking bread means kneading the dough myself, I simply haven’t done it. So now – finally – the bread we make can be properly kneaded thanks to the dough hook attachment.
I loved being able to wander off while the dough came together in the mixer basin. The mixer has 8 speed and anywhere between 1-4 is suitable for dough so I allowed the starter, flour and water mixture to come together gradually by increasing the speed in increments. The hook worked the dough until it achieved that ‘windowpane’ effect, without any effort from me, whoop!
When it was proving, I kept it in the large 4.5l stainless steel bowl and simply covered it with a damp towel. Blimey I was surprised by how much the dough had grown when I went back to it later. We decided to make a small white loaf to see how it got on.
I could barely contain my excitement when the aroma of baking bread filled the kitchen. I was SO ready for that loaf when it came out of the oven with a decent rise and a crispy crust. I was encouraged by our first loaf, and I’ve already bought some wholemeal flour to try out baking a brown loaf this bank holiday weekend.
Have you used a stand mixer to knead bread before? What are your tips for baking a great loaf? I’d love to hear your tips now that I’m getting into baking bread at home, so do let me know your bread-making hacks in the comments below 🙂
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