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  • Carl Mostert

Bread, glorious home-baked, fresh Bread...

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

Can you smell that unbelieveable fresh bread smell?

Beppie and I both love home cooking and experiment with the many flavors and cultural influences that we have experienced in our travels around the world.

I have been baking bread for almost 40 years, back to when we were first married. I used to bake various traditional breads weekly on Saturday, using hand kneading, bread machines and the like and have ended up with great results, to guzzle down together with Beppie. There is something special and hugely satisfying about that awesome smell and taste of fresh baked bread, cutting through the crispy crust, layering it with butter and munching away....

My previous bread baking efforts always made use of yeast that we bought, either in fresh cakes or the more popular instant yeast packages. More recently I decided it was time to jump onto the Sourdough bandwagon and try and do everything from scratch. The flavors that are developed with Sourdough bread are amazing, and together with the "hands-on" baking process deliver a combination of good nutrition, great taste and unbelieveable satisfaction of sharing and eating your own home-baked bread.

Bulding the Sourdough starter was a humbling experience after after a few false starts, where the starter built up too much acid, fermented very slowly, or starved from lack of nutrients. What to do? Look for help from other bakers and try again...

Finally I learned how to build and care for the starter, feed it, and I'm now the proud owner of an awesome culture called "Oumie" in honor of my paternal Grandmother. She was my inspiration... Livng to an awesome 93 years old and enrolling my help in the kitchen due to suffering from painful arthritis in her hands. There, she taught me the subtle details of a many great traditional South African recipes that Beppie and I still use in our home everyday.

This strong multi grain starter builds to 3-4 times its starting height prior to me using it in my baking! I'm now experimenting using combinations of regular Bread flour, All Purpose flour, Whole wheat flour, and have started including some "old grain" varieties such as Rye and Spelt. The results are sooooo tasty!

Devouring the freshly baked loaf is really easy, but the best way to do it is to add some traditional Irish butter, soft Brie Cheese and pair it with an amazing old vine Chenin Blanc. Yummy!, you will not be dissapointed...

A big thank you to the online folks who help me figure out the basic secrets to amazing Sourdough. @elaine_foodbod, @maurizio and @fullproofbaking. I continue to learn, you can check them out for the best and most detailed guidelines...

'Till next time... Cheers!

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