As I have mentioned before I am atrocious at baking bread. All but this sourdough recipe elude me…I have no idea why. It didn’t take too much practice to crack cakes (as I was generally a terrible baker until I got to like 22…), but bread is still tricky for me.
A sourdough loaf is very different from what mostly passes as bread these days. In fact, it is the antithesis of the industrial factory loaf – that soft, structureless, flavour-lite bread that is produced in such huge quantities and lasts for like two weeks even after you’ve opened it… Sourdough, by contrast, is bread with immense character, with presence – bread with a point. Freshly baked and smeared with cold, creamy butter, it’s exceptional. Torn up, dabbed in good olive oil, and sprinkled with a few flakes of rock salt, it’s a delight. It also has longevity without all those nasty preservative chemicals. After a few days you’ll find it makes the best toast ever, it’s brilliant for bruschetta and, as it gracefully comes to the end of its life, it produces the very finest breadcrumbs and croutons. And that’s why I think you might want to have a go at making it yourself too.