Insomnia and Sourdough

Last night I couldn’t sleep and got myself into a bit of a flap so I was gutted to have to get up this morning and get on with my day….. so tired. The moral of this story is not to make appointments before 9am!

After days of drying out my pumps and jeans every evening, I finally saw the wisdom in wearing a skirt and good, decent boots…. for a country in drought we’re doing well for rain and when I crossed the river this morning it was looking high

was so fast and completely silent, felt quite impressive….  cheered me up after my rude awakening!

Anyway…. since then I’ve run all my errands, done the big shop, unpacked, planted herbs, cooked, washed, cleaned and tidied…. but I thought I’d just share the beginnings of my sourdough starter that I got going today too.

I used to bake my own bread a couple of years ago but preferring to make wholemeal I used to end up with really dense, heavy loaves…. they tasted nice but weren’t ideal for sandwiches and things…. better for soup dunking and things. With my recent economy drive I thought I’d try making my own bread again and thought that the great, mythical “Sourdough” might make my wholemeal loaves lighter and rise nicely.

I don’t really know too much about sourdough apart from that you create a ‘starter’ with flour and water that is allowed to ferment and create its own raising agents, so when used in bread needs no added yeast to make it rise and creates a lovely flavour.

So I did a bit of research and went for this option http://www.shipton-mill.com/the-bakery/recipes/article-327/sourdough-starter-or-leaven  partly because I’ve used some really good Shipton Mill flours in the past, so I thought they’d know their stuff.

I only had the options of wholemeal self-raising or strong flours in the house and I’ve opted for the wholemeal strong flour. The mixture is sitting in a Kilner Jar wrapped in a tea towel on the shelf above my cooker. I’ve seen other instructions that say to put it in a sealed jar, but it seems to make sense to me to let the air get to it by covering it in a tea towel. Also my kitchen doesn’t really have a warm spot…. but I’ll see how it goes on….. quite exciting really…. and if this one doesn’t work I can always try another.

Before I go, I just thought I’d share these lovely roses that I got this morning….. I shouldn’t really be spending on such frivolities but I thought they were so pretty and unusual and would look gorgeous against the colour of lounge walls…. they make me smile :)

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