WembleyWonderful #143 - Sourdough Bread

I realised over the week that my “bread special” newsletter of last week omitted a key recipe – sourdough bread! So instead of just giving you the theory I actually worked at making my own sourdough starter last week and hopefully should be making my first sourdough bread batch as you’re reading this. Fingers crossed…

Sourdough bread (“pain au levain” in French) is basically when you don’t use baking yeast (“levure boulang è re”), but instead create your own sourdough starter (“levain”) by mixing flour and water and waiting for the fermentation process to take place, which should be easier to digest and better for health.

On the positive side, it means you don’t need to buy yeast anymore – quite helpful in the current environment. However it also means that before making your bread, you will need to make you starter – and if it is the first time, it will take you close to a week (once done it can be kept in the fridge and reused.

In theory you can use any cereal flour (even quinoa for instance), preferably organic to maximise your chances of success. I am allergic to wheat so I used organic rye flour and it seems to be working well. The indications that I followed to make my sourdough starter are here – I started seeing results about day 5, and now on day 7 I think we’re nearly there…

And now… We need a sourdough bread recipe!

  • This Thermomix one seems extremely easy so I think that’s what I will try first.
  • This one, on the other hand, seems very complicated but it has videos to explain all the steps – so I may try it if the first one fails me.
  • Bagels are a family’s favourite so I may give a try at this recipe.
  • And when I’m confident, I’ll make gluten-free sourdough I can actually eat myself – this recipe seems quite easy, this one far more complex.

If you have been making your own sourdough bread, please share your tips and recipes!