Hi, I am a retired ex-patriot Brit, now living on the Costa Blanca, Spain. Since retirement I obviously have a little more time on my hands, and so I have returned to an interest and a profession I took up when I first left school, i.e. Baking.
That was back in the mid 1960's and at that time in the UK. I was employed as an apprentice baker, and also attending the local technical college to qualify as a Baker/Flour Confectioner. The baking industry at that time was going through great change, which was not unfortunately for the better, and it was not long before I became disillusioned and left the trade altogether.
However at college I did learn the importance of long fermentation times in order to obtain good flavour in my bread, although this was working with commercial yeast, and baking with sourdough and wild yeasts, seemed consigned to history at that time. Since that time of course they have been rejuvenated, and slowly the standard of British bread is improving.
Therefore sourdough baking is entirely new to me, and so I thought it was about time I gave it a try!! I came across this website and thought it to be a great resource of knowledge to help me in that task.
Living here in Spain I was uncertain as to the quality of the flour that would be available to me, but have recently managed to find some decent strength wheat four together with some spelt flour So I have since raised my first sourdough starter and baked my first loaves using this flour. Here are the results. Not too bad I think for first attempt, but would prefer a little more openness in the crumb, but that I think could be down to my hand molding being a little to rough, as back in the sixties a fairly dense crumb was in favour in order to make a good sandwich without falling apart.