Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

Sourdough Journey #21: Will the cold ruin my sourdough starter?


This is part 21 in a 31 part series: Sourdough Journey

Today is Christmas and we were supposed to be hosting the family get-together but … the big storm hit. 

Let’s backtrack a bit .. Friday, I had started the bread-making process. I took the sourdough starter from the fridge, let it warm up to room temperature and then fed it. 

And then the storm hit

Our power went out, shortly after noon on Friday and the temperature in the house started dropping. Outside, we were looking at windchill factors of -30 Celsius. What’s that in Fahrenheit? Cold. Really cold.

Now, apparently the best temperature for the Elaine Boddy method of sourdough bread is anywhere in the 60’s (F).

… but our temperature inside dropped to 50. 

What should I do? Just wait and start again? Or follow Elaine’s advice and just keep going. 

Just keep going
Keep going, I did. 

Saturday morning, with still no power, I fed the cold little blog of sourdough starter some more flour and water and I waited. 
I actually waited until after the power came back on. So, instead of the couple of hours feeding time, I waited about 6. 

I, then, fed the starter with flour and milk. (Because the family Christmas dinner was postponed due to the weather) I decided to experiment and make a sandwich loaf, which used milk instead of water.) 

I did the hourly “tuck and folds” but I still had a blog of dough. No sign of rising. 

Just keep going. 

Then, it was time for the overnight fermentation stage and after 8 hours, I checked in it and the bowl was filled with dough!! The yeast was very happy. 

I put the dough into a banneton and into the fridge to wait for morning.

This morning, I transferred the dough into a bread loaf pan and gently stretched it a wee little bit to make it a longer loaf. 

I put that load pan into a roasting pan, covered it, and baked it at 425F for 55 minutes. 

Out it came … and I waited an hour for it to finish cooking and cooking …

- and it was delicious!! 
(Well, almost - I just realized that I forgot to add the salt. 😳

a simpler life