Introducing a new series: Fake sourdough

Hi there! I’m back earlier this time, thanks to Laura Vitale’s super easy no-knead rustic bread, which inspired me to try to fake a sourdough…

“What is she talking about?” – you may be wondering.

Well, last week I made Laura Vitale’s no-knead rustic bread. It was a really easy recipe – as I mention in my post, I actually did not know what to vary other than the flour since it’s so simple – and the outcome was really tasty. The bread flour loaf, that is. The whole wheat is still sitting on our kitchen counter as a nice decoration. It’ll head into the trash can soon, unless it turns into a brick beforehand.

That said – we ended up eating half of the white loaf the same day and it made me think how great it would be if in addition to having great texture, it would have that lovely sourness of a sourdough.

And that’s why for the coming few weeks I’ll be working my way through a series of experiments replacing the water in Laura’s recipe with various sour liquids in search of the perfect fake sourdough recipe.

Why not go through the usual steps of a sourdough?

Two reasons:

  1. I have a bit of anxiety and bitterness towards the process of making sourdough. I naively tried making sourdough as my very first loaf of bread (courtesy of Michael Pollan’s Cooked) and failed miserably before even getting to the end of the starter process. So it will be a while before I give sourdough a try again…
  2. Also, sourdough making is all about discipline. It’s an incredibly lengthy process start to finish – which for me is only possible on the weekends – and it requires  feeding your starter regularly, which is not my forte.

Laura’s recipe has both of these beat: it’s quick and requires virtually zero prep. I can make a batch in the evening and find out the next day whether the experiment succeeded of failed – even on weekdays.

So with that said, I’ll be posting the outcomes of my experiments over the coming 4-6 weeks and let you know if there is a way to avoid the lengthy sourdough making process for a quick win.

What will I be using for sourness? I’m still figuring out what sour veggies and juices could taste like sourdough, but we’ll kick the series off with pickle juice, which I have to say looks pretty gnarly mixed with yeast. Alas, it’s all in the name of science!

If you have any suggestions for what could be a good sourness source for a rustic bread, leave me a comment below and I will give it a try!

Happy baking!





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