Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A grip on life

So my experiments with pizza have led into the wider realm of sourdough.

The offspring and I decided to get a good sourdough going after we realized that great pizza just might require sourdough. Our first attempt was to capture wild yeast on the counter. We tried to work with it, but it was a constant disappointment.

Our second attempt was a grape-based starter. The grape-based starter appears to be working. We made pizza first. This was our first no-dry-yeast pizza attempt, and it worked admirably.

(I know the first pizza picture is blurry: we had some camera issues that night, and I salvaged what I could.)

From Grip on Life

From Grip on Life

I decided to try bread after that, but my starter was sluggish. I ended up making a few loaves, but I cheated and spiked the dough with dry yeast. Still, they were decent:

From Grip on Life

From Grip on Life

I used a slight variation on the Berkeley Sourdough I found online. I found the recipe made an extremely dry dough, so I use more starter than they recommend, add the water and salt to it, and then knead in flour to form a decent consistency. The results seem pretty good.

From Grip on Life

I fed my sourdough again this weekend, and it got really foamy. So I started a new batch tonight. In fact, the sponge I made to get the bread going was foaming nicely enough that I made it into a dough much earlier than I had planned. I'm leaving the dough out on the counter overnight to rise. I'll see how it's doing in the morning.

I must admit I've been intrigued with the catalogue Sourdoughs International has online. I'm more than a little tempted to drop some cash on a starter from them. But frankly, I'm out $20 or so in flour and $5 in grapes right now, and that's produced a good deal of pizza and bread already. Part of my interest has been that this hobby is so cheap; I'm going to keep seeing what I can hack together in my kitchen before I start ordering more exotic starters online.


Ames said...

I have been officially kicked to the curb as the resident bread guru. . . Your bread is great.

Gwen said...

I just made your meatballs again last night. WOW. You should start a cooking show.

EPIMENOS said...

Little jealous of all this bread-baking...