One of the best smells to fill a home is bread fresh out of the oven. I have wanted to make my own bread for a long time. A couple of years ago my mom bought me a bread machine. She thought that this would be a great way to get started. It was ok. I made many different types of bread but it wasn't right. Something was missing.
Last year, my friend Ronna sent me a sourdough starter all the way from Nevada. She has had this starter for over ten years. It survived the trip cross country and I was thrilled when I could make bread with my own hands. I know long ago this was a necessity to me today it is a comfort. I feel great when I am baking my own bread.
I made many loaves of bread through the winter and spring this year but then the weather turned warm. The garden was calling and my starter sat neglected in the back of the refrigerator. Many times I meant to store it in the freezer to preserve it but would inevitable forget. Once fall arrived the family was all talking about my bread. When would I make it again? I decided one day to bring out my starter and try to revive it. It did not work. My first two attempts were total failures. I felt terrible. I thought the starter was ruined for sure. The bread was not rising and it tasted extremely sour.
Figuring I didn't have anything to lose, I poured most of my batch of starter down the drain. Saving only about a half a cup. I poured it into a bowl, washed and sterilized its container and started again. It worked. The starter is completely happy and the bread I made last week was fantastic.
Here is the sponge that I started the night before. It is happy and bubbly. Just the way it is supposed to be. When I removed the towel and saw how happy it was I was thrilled.
Here are the loaves after I kneaded the dough and left it to rise.
This is the fresh out of the oven bread. So wonderful.I can't think of anything more comforting than baking your own bread. To me it is like therapy. This is a homemaking art that has been lost for a long time. It is now becoming more popular. It is a nourishing for body and soul.
I found great tips and recipes here. This is the artisan sourdough bread.