Monday, January 25, 2010

Houston ~ we have a problem!

The bread was a total failure!
Sorry, I was too embarrased to take a picture!
The dough worked up lovely
but it failed to rise!
I guess there wasn't enough fermenting
taking place in the starter.
The few people I have talked with
have not had success with making a
starter either.
So, when my nose gets back in joint
I will try once again!
But, this venture was not
all in vain ~
I baked up the 'unrisen' dough
and cut it up and soaked it with some water
and fed it along with some stale
store bought bread to my chickens
and guess what?! They loved the sourdough best!
They wouldn't even touch the store bought.
And I even saw a crow or two fly by with
a nice fat piece in their beak!
I think I will try that starter again in a day or so!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sourdough Day 3

Sorry this post is so late, but we have been gone visiting
grand babies (and their parents) today.
OK ~ so the starter was looking a little scary this morning!

(Below) See that yellow line of liquid?
It's a good thing!
It's called Hooch!
If you have it, that means the stuff is starting to ferment!

Just give it a stir!

Remove 1/2 of the starter and discard, like yesterday,
and feed it another 1/2 C. of warm water
and 1/2 C. of flour.
Give it another stir.

It is really starting to bubble
so I am going to refrigerate it now,
with a loose lid.
I will only need to feed it once a week.

I think I may have to try making bread with it tomorrow!
How is your starter doing?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sourdough Day 2

Here it is, only day 2 and I fear I may have a catastrophe already!
From what I have been reading, 'they' say it is really hard to kill
your starter for sourdough. The only danger is too much heat!
It was very cold in our house yesterday, and I was grousing around
about needing to keep the house warm for my starter.
Gentleman Farmer kindly obliged by stoking up the fire.
I went to bed and vaguely remember him saying something
about moving the starter to where it was warmer.
I slept fitfully during the night as I grew too warm.
When I got up, dear hubby said to check the fire
so the starter would stay warm. Too my surprise ( and dismay!)
he had placed the jar with the starter about 4 feet in front of the fire
'So it would stay warm'! (Bless his heart) I think that was a
little too warm ~ but since it is only the first 24 hours I am going to
continue on as if nothing has happened!
This is what it looked like ~
flour with water on the top!

Stir to incorporate liquid

Discard 1/2 of the starer

Feed the Starter;
1/2 C. Warm Water and 1/2 C. Flour

Stir and cover (remember ~ cloth or loose fitting lid.)
Do this every day for 3-4 days or until bubbly/frothy.
(Don't sit it in front of the fire!)
Keep in a warm (70*-80*) place.
See you again, tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sourdough Starter

Recently, while Youngest Farmers Daughter and her
hubby were with us over the holidays,
we discovered that his favorite bread is sourdough!
And we did find a very yummy brand at the store that had
lots of garlic in it which we all loved! :~P
I like to make bread (with varied degrees of sucess!) and
thought I would like to make some sourdough.
( My only experience with the fermented loaf making was several years ago
when I was given a 'starter' for 'Herman'. I didn't like it!
It was not my idea of bread ~ but more of a 'past it's prime' sweet bread!)
After a wee bit of research, this is what I have come up with.
I don't know what the outcome will be,
but, come along with me as I experiment with
this age old process of making
sourdough starter!
Sourdough starter needs to have a wide mouth
glass container to grow in.
(Crockery may be used, but I understand that
it is best when you can see the process.)
Below: 1 gallon jar that has been
washed and scalded with boiling water.
(We don't want any 'uninvited guests' contaminating
our home for our welcomed Wild Yeast family!)
Using only glass, plastic or wooden utensils (metal has adverse effects on the
fermenting process), measure
1 cup warm water
1 cup unbleached flour

Pour into sterilized container and stir with wooden spoon.
Some lumps are ok ~ they will break down later.

Cover with loose fitting top or cloth (permits the wild yeast to colonize
and prevents a messy explosion from build up of fermenting gases!)
Keep in a warm place (70* - 80*) for 24 hours.

Come back tomorrow as we continue our
experiment with making a sourdough starter!

I would love to have you 'grow' a starter along with me!
Please let me know if you do!