Monday, October 24, 2011

Fresh from the Oven

When we lived in Georgia, we had a neighbor and dear sweet friend that made homemade sourdough bread. It was the best bread I've ever tasted. Yummy! She was so kind and would share with our family whenever she made bread. My girls loved her bread. To them, it was "Miss Melissa Bread" and was their favorite. After we moved to Florida, they missed their friends (Melissa's daughters) and Miss Melissa Bread. I decided to try and make a starter for the sweet sourdough bread and give it a try. I'm not a great scratch baker so this was a leap for me. I found a recipe on the internet that was as close to what Melissa used to "feed" her starter as possible. She had been given her starter from someone in Arkansas so she didn't have a recipe for making a starter. I made the starter using the internet recipe and begin to feed and take care of my precious new starter baby. I attempted my first bread and it was SOUR tasting - not so good. My friend encouraged me not to give up and to try again. I read all the reviews and posts I could find about bread making on the internet. I decided maybe I let it rise too long. So on the second try, I adjusted my times and it turned out a little better - still not as good as Miss Melissa Bread but it was edible at least. Third time was a charm though!! Many of the posts I read said "don't give up if your bread isn't great the first few times" - I'm glad I listened to that advice. From that point on, my bread was great. I as able to use the starter to make bread, rolls, cinnamon rolls, foccocia bread, cheese bread, italian bread, wheat bread and much more. It was fun making up new recipes and sharing homemade bread with friends and family. I kept up my bread making for months but then as summer approached, I was less interested in making bread. For some reason, its better in the fall/winter to me - just warm and cozy I guess. Anyway, last year I was pregnant and didn't have the energy or desire to bake anything! So its been almost two years since I baked bread but my daughters have been asking for bread so I decided to make a new starter and give it a whirl. This morning was my first trial run with the new starter. It turned out good - not perfect - but still tasty and edible. The crust was perfect and the rise was good (not great), the density and texture was good but it wasn't quite as sweet tasting as we like it. I think its because the starter is so fresh. I remember the older the starter was the more established and mature it was and the better the bread tasted so I'm not giving up. I think it will just get better with age. Here's today's first run bread.


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