Picture, thousand words, yadda yadda!
This morning I started the first bake run of my sourdough experiment with wild yeast. I fed the starter, gave it a couple of hours to rise, then took a portion, made and kneaded the dough. I then allowed it to rise for 6 hours before baking it in an oven with a water reservoir in the bottom (for steam).
The colour of the bread turned out gorgeous, the rise was decent for such a short time, and the flavour is wonderful! Because of a single rise and the short (for sourdough) rise time, the crumb turned out pretty dense, though in a good way (not stodgy or wet) and while I normally like fluffier (bigger-holed) bread, this is lovely all the same – we ate it a little warm, but I imagine it will make fantastic sandwich or toast bread once it is cooled.
Again, because of the short rise, the flavor was not very sour, but there was a distinct sour note, and a lot of flavor in general – and it was the right kind of flavor, without a slightest hint of off-taste. In short, this tastes like bread, the way bread should taste, (and not like a wad of Kleenex the way commercially-made stuff tastes more often than not).
So, overall I pronounce this a success. T ate his test piece with happy gusto despite having just finished a substantial dinner, and said that the flavour was great and that it was good bread. The crust is crunchy and cracks in places, and I am definitely making another run this weekend – this time with a full rise time and punch-down for fuller flavor and more sourness, so will start it Friday night for overnight rise #1 and Saturday morning rise #2 to be baked for lunch or thereabouts.
The experiment continues!