I understand that many of you have been waiting with bated breath to find out how my sourdough starter is holding up, so I figured that I would provide a quick update for you. This is also a way of saying that I had nothing at all to write about, so I will just bore you with details that you probably could care less about. Now, since I published my article on How to Make Sourdough Starter (yup, shameless self-promotion), I have had the opportunity to bake over 20 loaves of bread and I am happy to report that the bread is continuing to turn out great and the starter is still chugging along nicely.
Since I have gotten more comfortable with the starter, I have started to experiment a little with what I add to the bread. I have begun to add some granulated garlic to my french breads and at some point, I would like to add sun-dried tomatoes. I have also experimented with using wheat flour. This flour kneads differently than the white flour so, if you decide to use it, please be sure to watch carefully as you add it, because one minute it may look too moist and then BAM, you've added too much.
If you have your own starter, don't be afraid to experiment with it. The worst thing that can happen, is that the bread won't rise and you end-up with flat-bread (great for dipping in soups). Remember, don't skimp on the proofing times (yes, I've done that, too).
One thing though, my bread is very dense and I was wondering if anyone out there would know how I can get more air-holes in my bread (making it nice and fluffy)? Would substituting shortening for the olive oil make a difference? If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.
Sorry for this strange article, but I have been totally slammed this week and have had very little time to devote to writing.