Baking your own bread is a rewarding experience that allows you to control the ingredients for a perfectly green loaf. You can use local, organically-grown ingredients to work with your eco-friendly lifestyle and know exactly what you are eating. There are so many ways to make bread, but one of the most popular is sourdough.
Sourdough bread is possible to make!
Sourdough bread is made in three steps: a starter, a sponge, and the final product. One sourdough starter can create many loaves, and if fed properly, can be maintained for years. There are a few considerations to take in a humid, tropical climate, but it’s not impossible to make a great sourdough starter in the Caribbean.
Easy and rewarding
The first thing to do is add flour and water in a 1:1 ratio in either a glass or crockery container. (It’s important to never use plastics or metals when making sourdough, at any step, because the delicate ingredients can absorb the flavor.) Cover the mixture, and keep it in a dry, warm place. For the next week, stir the starter daily, and add another 1:1 ratio of flour and water By the end of the week, you should be seeing bubbles and smelling a slightly sour odor.
If you rely on your air conditioning to combat the heat, you may want to store your starter away from any vents, as it needs a fairly warm area to thrive. By day 8, your starter is ready to use. Add 1 cup of the starter to a mixing bowl, and add 1 and 1/2 cups of warm water and 3 cups of flour. Beat together, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 2 to 8 hours. This is the sponge and needs as long as you can afford to get the best “sour” flavor.
Finally, it is time to bake some bread! Blend 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt and one cup of flour into the sponge, and then turn out to knead for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Try to only use enough flour to keep it from sticking. Let it rise in a covered bowl for another hour or two, until doubled.
Turn the loaf out and divide it into two. Let it rise for another two hours, or until the two loaves have doubled. Then cook at 450 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.
Enjoy your homemade artisan sourdough!
Ways to enjoy sourdough bread