One gets attached to a sourdough starter; it is only natural. After coaxing it into life, feeding and watering it daily, this putrid and soupy mixture becomes like an ugly, endearing mongrel. Yet when your flatmate accuses you of sleeping with the starter, you know it has become an obsession. It has become embarrassing.
I fully admit to a sourdough obsession (although I have not gone so far as to cuddle it in bed). So today, partly in celebration of my decision to write my dissertation on artisan breads and also because, more prosaically, I’d run out of toast, I baked great fat whale of a loaf. In fact this was the entire extent of my culinary achievements today. It was made with a rye starter, Bacheldre Watermill‘s oak smoked stoneground malted wheat flour, and a mixture of sesame, sunflower, and flaxseeds. The result was dark and chewy with a good crust and a wonderfully sweet, smoky scent.
For dinner I made a cranking grilled cheese. I sawed off a couple slices, topped one with a generous hunk of vacherin, a scant few morsels of sun-dried tomato, spinach, and finely chopped spring onions, and squashed the whole together. Coated lightly in oil and pressed in a cast iron pan over a medium heat (weighed down unconventionally with a gallon jar) it emerged crisp on the outside, gooey in the middle and deliriously good.