As I mentioned in my last, rather messy post, I have been baking alot. I have learned so much over the past few weeks and I have gained some confidence in working with different types of dough. You might even say that I've lost some respect for dough which is making me more daring. =)
This in turn has led to my first little baby steps into the world of sourdough. As you probably know the first thing you need to do when you want to play with sourdough is to make a sour dough base. A Herman - as many people would call it. This can be made in many different ways but the method that I used was based on raisin soaked in water and mixed with some different types of flour. This is then set to rest somewhere nice and warm for a few days while you feed him flour and water once in a while as well as shaking him twice a day. on the 5th day or so he should be bubbling rather vigorously. My Herman even bubbled over the icecream box that I was storing him in - making a huge mess of sourdough puke inside my cupboard. Bad Herman!
Anyway, once the base is ready it can be used in all kinds of nummy breads using little or no yeast. Most recipes choose to use yeast anyway to secure the rising process and make it a little faster because sourdough needs to rise much longer than ordinary bread. Some for hours, some for DAYS!
Here is the result of my very first sourdough bread. I am actually very satisfied with this bread. It is a very rustic looking bread that would look great next to that shabby chic cupcake black board(the one I never actually bought). This bread smelled so good and the crunchy crust and sort of half chewy texture completed the experience.
I might actually suggest that this is the best bread I've ever eaten.