Monday, 1 April 2013

Celebrate National Sourdough Bread Day

Today is traditionally known as April Fool’s Day, but more importantly (to bread bakers at least), it’s National Sourdough Bread Day. National Sourdough Bread Day is a great way to celebrate breads made with ‘wild yeast’. Although most people associate sourdough with the ‘sour’ breads made in San Francisco, sourdough bread doesn’t have to be sour – unless of course, you want it to be.

A lot of artisan breads are made with sourdough starters rather than using dried yeast. I love experimenting with different types of bread made with sourdough. It is very rewarding to make a bread completely from scratch using ‘wild yeast’ developed in your kitchen and maintained lovingly and stored in the refrigerator. 

I have several of these pets, as I like to call my starters, living in my refrigerator. All of my starters are made with different types of flour, and I use them in different types of bread. Learn how to make each of these starters in my sourdough starters section. My favorite starter is featured in this post.

To help you celebrate this day, I’ve highlighted some fun ways to create, maintain and use your sourdough starter to make different types of sourdough bread. I hope you enjoy.


Creating a sourdough starter

My favorite starter is my apple starter. Although I enjoy using the other starters, this one has special meaning because I used apples that I handpicked from an apple orchard in the North Georgia Mountains. I also went for a hike that day and it was a very memorable experience. I think about those fond memories when I use this starter.  It’s like a memory in a jar.


How to activate a sourdough culture

Once you’ve gone through the trouble and delight of creating your own starter, you’ll want to be sure you continue to feed it properly so that it doesn’t die in the refrigerator. Learn this easy method of activating a sourdough starter even if it has been in the refrigerator awhile and hasn’t been fed recently.



Making Sourdough Breads

This is a fun experiment. If you’re like me and you have trouble discarding your starter when you feed it, just make more bread. I made Classic Sourdough Bread using one recipe, but two different starters. You end up with lot’s of extra bread so your friends will love you.


Pita of the Desert

This sourdough bread is called Khubz Arabi or ‘Arab Bread’, but it’s also known as ‘Pita of the Desert’.  It is a soft, round flatbread that poofs in the oven and makes a great pocket to hold salad for a light lunch or dinner.


Sourdough Bagels on my mind

These Sourdough Bagels are made with a sourdough starter instead of an overnight sponge. They use the simplest of ingredients: starter, bread flour, salt, water, yeast and malt.




Sourdough Fantans with Jam Filling

These Fantans, made with sourdough and filled with delicious jam, were so delightful, they inspired a song. You’ll be singing it too once you taste them.



Sourdough Rye

This Sourdough Rye bread is made with toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I really liked the flavor and texture of these breads. It’s a keeper!



Sourdough Spelt Loaf with Flax Seeds

You’ll enjoy the complex flavors in this 100% Sourdough Spelt Loaf with a flax seed soaker.  Spelt is versatile and healthy and makes a great addition to breads.


I hope you’ll try some of these breads. If you want to bake even more breads with wild yeast, visit my Sourdough Breads section. And, if you are interested in doing some fun and different things with your sourdough starter (besides making bread), check out the Sourdough Surprises baking group.


Happy Baking!


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