Meet Fred. Fred is 6 days old and very much alive.
I’ve been feeding Fred a strict diet of flour and water everyday and as a result, he’s been growing and frothing. And growing and frothing.
And now he’s ready.
Fred is my sourdough starter. Tomorrow I’m going to feed him up for the final time and then I’m going to put his bulked mass to prove until the following morning (by which time he should be well sprung and swollen).
Then (and this is the really exciting bit): I’m going to stoke the woodburning oven up until it’s as hot as I can get it; slide in my fully risen loaves onto the base of the oven; and – after one last longing look – gently close the door.
If all the above goes to plan, after 35 minutes of anxious waiting, I’ll be the proud mother of two beautiful bouncing sourdough loaves.
Don’t congratulate me just yet, though.