Hi, I’m new here although I have been reading this forum with interest for some time.
I live in the small village of Clun in Shropshire, England. I’ve been making bread on and off for many years but it was only about a year ago, inspired by a visit to San Francisco, that I decided to have a go at creating a sourdough starter. I made up a fairly thick mix of bread-flour and water in a plastic bowl, covered it with muslin and left it alongside our wood-burning stove.
Quite frankly I didn’t for a moment expect anything to happen. When I looked at it three days later it had developed a hard crust on top and I was convinced that it was done for. But when I removed the crust I found to my delight BUBBLES!
I continued to feed the starter and was pleased to find, when I came to use it, that I could produce a very respectable loaf. I have since experimented with a variety of different recipes and have finally produced my definitive loaf which I dubbed “Clun White Sourdough”. It’s based on a Poilâne-style recipe and takes about three days to make.
In England I feed the starter with my preferred white flour (Wessex Mill) with a little wholemeal and rye added but my wife and I recently went to Nevada for eight weeks and I was worried about what to do with my beloved starter. Finally I dried some, pulverised it and put it in the freezer in case of emergencies. I then made up a very thick mixture of the rest in a small plastic container and put it in our luggage. I was a bit worried about pressure/temperature etc. in the cargo hold but the starter survived triumphantly and soon got used to its new diet of King Arthur Bread Flour. I made several loaves whilst in America but found that I had to vary my recipe slightly to allow for the altitude (we were near Reno) and the different flour.
I’m now back in England and my internationally-travelled Clun Starter is back on its normal diet and flourishing.