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Hooked on sourdough

DARIUS SHAHHEYDARI
QUYON April 29, 2020
The change in the consumer shopping trends has caused a shortage of yeast in the region, in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic.
With more people staying in and with grocery store supply chains experiencing interruptions, some residents have had some difficulty getting a hold of this baking staple. The shortage gave Quyon resident Sharon Hobbs the idea to make her own sourdough starter.
A naturally occurring yeast that rises and falls, sourdough starter is generally used for baking bread. Hobbs researched how to make the starter without using yeast and found out it could be composed of two ingredients of equal proportions: flour and water.
“Every night, you feed your starter four ounces of water and four ounces of flour and for 12 hours you will see it rise,” said Hobbs. “It develops all of its bubbles and gluten and then over the next 12 hours it falls before you feed it again. As long as you keep feeding it, it will just continuously live. If you want to stop feeding it for a while you can put it into the refrigerator with a lid on it.”
Naming her first successful starter Beatrice, this experiment has been a learning curve as well as a convenient interest for Hobbs.
“My first loaf was a little dense and it didn’t really rise, but then I learned I have to make sure things are mixed really smoothly,” she said. “Or when I’m folding the dough I need to make sure I really stretch and pull it out so that it gets rid of any lumps and that it allows all of the air bubbles in the dough to puff up really nicely when you bake it.”
Hobbs began experimenting with her starter beyond recipes for bread, using it for morning glory muffins, which she described as dense breakfast muffins, and chocolate chip cookies, which turned out having a “tang”.
Following the interview with The Equity, Hobbs said she will make pizza crust with the sourdough, as well - an inspiration from Art-Is-In Bakery, in Ottawa, who serves pizza in the evenings.
Hobbs will give out her sourdough recipe to anyone that is interested in it, free of charge.

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