Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stumbling on Success

No, not potty-training success.  I'm back to not wanting to talk about that.

I stumbled on a bit of success while working on my June goal, which is to make a sourdough starter.  Again, I can't believe I picked such an intimidating goal.  I know nothing about baking bread.  I only know I like sourdough bread, and I've learned it's something you can make yourself.

So I simply googled "sourdough starters" and found a billion ways to make a sourdough starter.  Many include yeast in the recipes, but it seems that there are quite a few sourdough purists out there who insist that true sourdough starters should not require yeast.  They say true sourdough is made using wild yeast, which apparently is hovering around my head and being breathed in and out by my babies at the very moment I'm typing this.

It took an insane amount of time to find a suitable jar...I didn't want to buy one and I had to figure out how to get the pickle smell out of the one I had (vinegar, people.  It's a miracle worker.)  I followed directions, and began to make and feed the starter, using only flour and water.

And I was sure it didn't work.  First, it seemed I was using too small a jar.  Second, I forgot to feed it one day, so I tried to make up for it the next morning, about 18 hours late.  Then it seemed like just nothing was happening.  So I decided I would start again, halving the recipe to fit inside my jar.  Then forgot about it again for a day...the old stuff was still up on my refrigerator this afternoon when I thought about it again.  No big deal, I was going to throw it out anyway.

But lo and behold, when I opened the jar, it looked and smelled like the instructions said it would!  It was bubbly and frothy and smelled like sourdough!  The key, I guess, was just to leave it alone and let it do its thing. 

Isn't it pretty?

Next up: figuring out how exactly to turn it into bread.  Or rolls or something.  Apparently this stuff can just live in your fridge for awhile. 

I'll keep you posted

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