My friend Southy recently revealed that she has been making sourdough English muffins for breakfast. Well colour me impressed. I've been scared of sourdough. Half-understood ideas of having to keep feeding and halving the leaven, and the psycho baker in Kitchen Confidential screaming down the phone "Feed the bitch!", and people mentioning babysitting leaven while friends went on holiday left me feeling that sourdough was really not something I could undertake.
But Southy informed me that it wasn't really that bad, and pointed me towards Dan Lepard's sourdough, which is actually stored in the freezer and brought back to life when required (I did consider calling this post Disneyleaven, but apparently it is an urban legend that Walt Disney had himself cryogenically preserved).
I did have an anxious moment mid-way through the week, when I thought my leaven had died. It went from being bubbling and lively to completely silent and a bit dry- looking. I quickly signed up to Dan Lepard's forum, to get help with resuscitation, and my new best friend Dan informed me that it probably wasn't dead at all, but had exhausted its food reserves and that I should just keep feeding as per normal and all would be well. And gosh-darn it he was right.
I used 2 nuggets of the leaven fresh: one for the sourdough naan I made for the last Cook the Books challenge, and one following Southy's recipe for English muffins. Both absolutely wonderful and definitely to be repeated.
But I was really looking forward to bringing some frozen leaven back to life and seeing how that worked.
Pretty damn well, is how it worked! I followed-ish another one of Dan Lepard's recipes, for a sourcream sandwich loaf, using sourdough leaven instead of yeast, and Greek yoghurt instead of sourcream. Very successful! Perfect crisp crust, beautiful flavour, beautiful texture and absolutely magical aroma. Very much to be recommended.