I recently bought the River Cottage Handbook No.3 on baking bread after being inspired by Masterchef Australia and the Great British Bake Off.
The first recipe I attempted this week was the Sourdough Bread. This entailed preparing the bread starter a few days in advance. I anxiously awaited the bubbles to appear in my first feed, and religiously replaced half the starter on a daily basis. A bread starter is for life, apparently.
I made the sponge mixture the night before, using some of the bread starter, and added flour and salt to it the next day. I used my KitchenAid to mix the dough, unfortunately, 1/3 of the flour went flying. Note to self, hand-mix the flour into the sponge and then use the KitchenAid in future.
Although the bread was very tasty, alas, it was also rather dense. I kneaded the dough in a bowl rather than on my countertop, and could have done with more proving (despite having had 6 hours). I’m not gutted though – we’ve homemade bread to enjoy for the next week, and hopefully with practice, I’ll master the art of baking bread someday. Oh, my dad would be so proud of me.