August 10th, 2010.
I’ve been to the St. John this morning to buy sourdough bread. It’s huge, tastes amazing and stays fresh for several days. Pleasingly, it’s cheaper and superior to the bread from farmers market and supermarkets.
I do on occasion, make my own bread, even sourdough, but it does take a few days. The quickest recipe I found involves making the dough one day, resting it, allowing it to rise several times the next day and knocking it back, before baking later on. The really good sourdoughs take a week or so to get going, using natural yeast in the air. Once going the “Mother” dough base is a living organism and needs to be used daily and replenished with an equal amount of flour and water to what is taken to make the bread.
I believe the St. John “Mother” is about 8 years old and included some rhubarb and yoghurt to get it going. The recipe is in the book, Beyond Nose to Tail, by Fergus Henderson and Justin Piers Gellatly.
Here’s one I made – fortunately it tasted great, because it doesn’t quite live up to the
St. John on looks.
There is another Sourdough bread maker of merit, I’d recommend and that’s
Wild Caper in Brixton Market (11a-13 Market Row, Electric Lane, London SW9 8LB) – the bread’s made in the pizza ovens of Franco Manca and is served at Blacks Club in Soho. Brixton is too far south for my daily bread, but it tastes great whenever I eat in Blacks.