It’s been well over a year since I’ve been baking sourdough bread (also bread in general) and I can happily report that the final product improves steadily both in taste, texture and look with each new month of bake.
What is sourdough bread? Sourdough bread is a type of bread that is leavened naturally, without commercial yeast. It’s leavened with “sourdough starter” which can be made at home with just flour and water and time. Starter still contains yeast but you can find more type of yeast there and most importantly, it’s mixed with beneficial bacteria which work in symbiotic relationship and provide health benefits. This type of bread is more easily digestible since sourdough starter breaks gluten in flour. It’s the reason some people who can’t tolerate commercial yeast or have a little gluten sensitivity, can enjoy sourdough bread without problems.
I bake bread every single week now. Usually at the weekends but also during the week sometimes if I run out of bread quicker than planned. The special thing about dough made with sourdough is you can just toss it in the fridge multiple times if you don’t have a time to bake so the process can be spanned across multiple days. I do this quite often now because of lack of time (work and winter’s low temperatures) and I want to give dough a proper time to develop texture and flavour and not sacrificing hours of sleep.
For example, I baked bread this Saturday morning which had been in a making since Thursday evening. It bulk fermented (first rise) overnight on a kitchen counter and in the following morning from 6am to 5pm in an unheated room. Proofing (second rise) was done on a balcony overnight, 12 hours at 5°C. I’m very satisfied with the result – bread has great texture, has risen wonderfully and tastes no sour at all. I’d also like to note that I didn’t make levain for it as it’s usual practice but used only two spoonful of active sourdough starter to allow for longer fermentation. I’ve done this type of schedule for the 3rd time now with great results each time.