Herman the German Friendship Cake (Part 2)

In case you haven’t read the previous post, this is a little project I’ve got going at the moment to make sourdough – this process takes 9 days and creates a really distinctive flavour in the end product. Check out the first post for a bit more information.

Over the past couple of days all I’ve had to do is stir, as the mixture got thicker and gloopier, and bubbled (it’s quite amazing to think that there’s a living process going on in there). Yesterday, on day three, it was time to add some more “food” to keep the process going – 115g of plain flour, 225g of granulated sugar and 235ml of milk (it doesn’t specify what sort of fat content you need, so I went for semi-skimmed as a safe middle ground). To get rid of the floury lumps that you always get with that much liquid, I used my hand mixer (which is really useful for things like this, check out the Kitchen Bits & Bobs page for more info) – although I was then worried that I might have done something wrong because there were no more bubbles, to signify that the yeast was still alive and respiring. Thankfully, when I got up this morning Herman had puffed up into a huge mass of bubbles, so he’s still thriving. 

I have to admit, I’d feel pretty guilty if I let him die because, as I explained in the previous post, my Herman is just one in a chain of cakes all made with a bit of the same starter – which is a pretty cool idea. Bakers who specialise in sourdough are often still using a starter that’s been used to make thousands of other loaves, which means they all have distinctive flavours and styles.