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I did allude to the fact that I also bake breads.  So, I thought I might start a thread about bread making.   You may well ask, "What got you so excited about breads tonight, Andy?"  Good question!

I've been making bread for a little while now.  Yes, I cheat and use a bread maker.  I don't often use it to cook the bread anymore, but it is just such an easy way to make and leven (raise) dough.  Anyway, the apparent nirvana of bread making is a really nice sourdough.  I didn't really understand that.  Gimme a break guys, I make a fab. olive french bread and a few others that I would have been willing to use as high stakes in any bread poker game.  What's all this nonsense about sourdough?!  

Alright, I admit, I let the hype sway me.  I made myself a sourdough starter.  Waited till she'd brewed a few days and then started to play with it.  O.. M... G.. !  The first loaf was pretty good. Great crusty crust with a really lovely soft light bread (and I mean SOFT and LIGHT!).  Huh, might be something in this nonsense.  

So tonight, as I was distilling, I thought I'd make some sourdough bread-rolls (I can freeze them without worrying about cutting a whole loaf into slices).  Naturally, I had to try one while they were still warm (do you have any idea how good fresh cooked bread can make a house smell?). 

The crust is crispy and perfect.  The bread is soooo light and fluffy, it's incredible.  The hype is real.  If there is interest, I will continue this crazy post.  If not, I shall suffer through eating the best damn bread I have ever tasted and say no more.  

Oh, here's a pic: 

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I suspect you are spot on about matching the starter to the subsequent flour.  

Aww Scarlett! Sourdough is a fermented bread (yeast eats the sugar in the flour to make the flavour). To my mind (which admittedly is somewhat demented) there has to be some alcohol output from that.  Mind you, if the smell is not lemony or there is mould, I'd chuck the lot and start again.  Fermented stuff (my alcohol, cheese, breads) are wonderful, but a "real" cheese maker told my wife, "The trouble these days is that people make these things without understanding the science behind it.  They just repeat the recipe.  You need understand why as much as how."  

You know, that really annoyed the hell out of me at the time, but there is some element of truth to it.  I don't need to know the atomic weight of a whole bunch of stuff, but I'm always happy to read some "whys."  Why is cheese salt different to normal salt?  Why does Lipase add flavour to cheese?  Why does sourdough bubble?  Why does Andy feel the need to chat so often in so much detail? 

I suspect Andy's brain just never stops :S

They need to put a few more hours in each day, that's all. 

don't worry, i love that stuff too

i think when the yeast had finished eating (i.e. if you let the starter get to the end of the fermentation before giving it more food, which you're not meant to do) you end up with a slick of alcohol on top. yes, alcohol ir produced the whole time, but you shouldn't be able to pour it off the top - by the time it gets to that stage it seems to be better to knock it right back and feed it up again

Thanks Scarlett.  I am indeed a lazy sourdougher and leave it in the fridge for days on end without checking.  I figured the cold would stop it - apparently not.  With all the nonsense I get up to, some things just have to give.  I might label mine "Sourdough Robusta!"

I was sent a video from a friend of mine.  The very talented lady on the video stirs her alcohol back into the mix! Sourdough recipe  I'm starting to think there are as many recipes for sourdough as there are for cheese!

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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