I made the decision - I am going to bake with my sourdough starter! There are bubbles all the way to the bottom, and it has risen convincingly... ish. Just in case, I have fed the starter again and left it on the bench. If tomorrow's bread doesn't work out, I can always make another loaf the next day, and so on and so on until we have perfection in a loaf...
Posy put a moustache on my sourdough baby. No, I don't know why. Would you look at the bubbles on this baby, after just twelve hours. It's going crazy.
After looking all over the web world of sourdough, I have decided to use this recipe, solely because it features a bread sponge, and I have wondered for years what one of those was. They feature in old novels, when the thrifty housewife sets her bread in the evening for the morning's baking. Even yesterday, reading Swords and Crowns and Rings by Ruth Park (love her novels, read them, read them), the camp cook in a drover's camp sets his bread in a Dutch oven overnight to be ready for baking in the morning. I never realised until I started this little baking project that everyone made sourdough bread until recently. Baker's yeast is such a modern phenomenon.
So here is a 'sponge'. This recipe uses a cup of starter, three cups of flour, one and a half cups of water, all mixed together. Here it is when I mixed it.
And here it is, two hours later. One bubble!
I know, such excitement. I can't think why anyone is still reading, except out of sheer kindness.
When I go to bed, it will go in the fridge, and tomorrow morning, when everyone has gone out, and I have cleared up all the mess, I will start kneading, then letting it rise. I do have to go out twice, so I hope it isn't at any critical point. I am hoping it will rise, and I won't have a very flat loaf to show you tomorrow night. Or a burnt one. Or one that is so acidic it is inedible...