I was supposed to make a Fougasse this week. However, the rye sourdough starter I have been nursing suddenly seemed ready to bake with… so this week’s recipe is a Chocolate, Currant, and Cinnamon Babkafrom Sourdough by Sarah Owens.
I borrowed this book from the library and was immediately intrigued to see the starter method. In the past, all my starters have come to life by mixing flour and water from day one. On many occasions, I have been instructed to add a raisin or something similar to speed up fermentation. But this book is totally different (for me, at least). She starts with a yeast water, simply shaken often for about a week, before finally adding the flour in when fermentation has occurred. You can read about her method here.
The babka itself is fairly straightforward, so here are some photos of the starter phase instead.
The verdict: this sourdough starter method really works! It is so much simpler than the others, so I might stick with it in future. The recipe for yeast water made too much though; I might cut that in half next time.
The loaf itself is superbly rich, I wouldn’t have known it was a sourdough loaf if I hadn’t made it myself.
Next week’s recipe will be the promised Fougasse from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.