Hi all. I've always said that I'm an entre cook but if you want something baked, find someone else. Well, I bit the bullet and decided that, at nearly 70 yrs, I should give it a shot. My first attempt was menza menza, and after a slice, I gave it to the birds. It's winter here in Iowa, and they were really, really hungry.
So I decided to make sour dough starter from scratch. And I did. I fed it daily - 1 cup of lukewarm water, 1 cup of all purpose flour. I did that for nearly 2 weeks, keeping the plastic bowl in a cold oven w/the light on.
A couple of days ago, I decided to change proportions to 1/2 C of lukewarm water and 1 C of flour. Did that for a couple of days. Overall, I had a starter of 2 weeks. After I fed it for the last time, I tasted some of the gruel off the spoon and, yup, it was definitely sour.
Today, I finally got my courage up and decided to bake "sour french bread." Actually, plaudits to me, because I've been thinking of doing it for the last 4 days but kept chickening out.
So, I followed an online recipe, put the dough hook on my KA mixer, followed the directions (except I didn't add powdered yeast to dry stuff, but proofed it in 1 C of warm water, not milk), added enough bread flour to have the mess pull away from the bowl (it called for UP TO 3-3/4C of bread flour and I used 3-1/4 C - used some of the remainder in the kneading) and went for it.
OMG!!! It turned out wonderfully!! The taste of the bread was sooooo much better than the sour dough rolls I bought from HyVee (I live in IA) and I couldn't believe it! I CAN BAKE! Yup, the "sour" dough wasn't, but when I read that sourdough starter has been passed down for generations and there are starters out there of 200 yrs. or so, I figure that, at 2 weeks,it's an embryo starter, but the bread was fabulous!
I just wanted to let you all know, as I've always maintained that as a baker I make a good plumber.
Pat from Iowa