Sourdough Bread Starter – Thailand Version

sour dough starterMy wife is watching a video on toast. It seems that toast has caught on here in Thailand. The idea of selling toast strikes me as a bit odd. I mean who would of thought of it? That leads me to bread. Good bread, which is in short supply here in the Land of Smiles. I mean if you live outside of Bangkok or Chiang Mai the stuff that passes for bread is some type of sickly sweet doughy Styrofoam like junk that I wouldn’t feed to my pet pig (if I had one).

So I make my own bread, lots of it and last week I even made a green tea loaf that was pretty good. What I mostly make is white bread loafs which I can do here—the old fashioned way, lots of hand kneading, and none of that no-knead stuff, leave in the refrigerator and play games on my mobile phone, or watch movies—the real thing made in my tiny convection oven and better than anything you can buy in a bakery here.

So I did some thinking in my spare time. Why not take it to the next level and make some sourdough bread. Hey not a bad idea, and being the adventurous type that I am I went right after it. I did a bit of research and decide on keeping it simple and easy, taking the recipe from the Breadtopia website and used pineapple juice.

Pineapple juice?

A lot of science goes into this stuff, chemistry, which I was never really good at. Apparently pineapple juice lets the good bacteria grow and kills off the bad stuff which will ruin your starter. On the first day mix 3 ½ tablespoons strong bread flour with a ¼ cup pineapple juice (the unsweetened kind) and let it sit for about 48 hours covered at room temperature. Now I live in a tropical climate and room temperature usually hovers around 80 degrees in my kitchen…

Well did it work? Sure thing, and after my second feeding on day two, equal parts flour and juice, I got a nice bubbling mass of stuff that looked real cool and was presumably the beginnings of my sourdough starter. On days three and four I did additional feedings and as you can see by the photos I got a real good and healthy looking culture going. On days four and five I fed it again, this time with only flour and water and it looked spot on and ready to go…

So give it a try. I used this recipe from the Breadtopia website:

And for the science behind it, ask a chemist, I’m just some bread making, school teaching, bohemian bum that goofs off in Thailand. What do I know about science?



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