Monday, September 27, 2010

aprons and mama

Our aprons have been earning their keep this weekend. We have been in
the kitchen alot. So we thought (Taylor and I) we would share with you
how to start your very own Sour Dough Starter.   

We will call her mama.. 

Not very long ago, bread was made using only two ingrediants: flour and water.
No "chockfull of chemicals" rising agents and no bakers yeast.
Just wholesome bread made by loving hands and products that
were familiar to the bodies they fed.
Baking bread with your own sourdough starter is better for you because the starter pulls in wild
yeast spores from the enviroment around you, those which are familiar to your body.

Artisian bread is a wonderful bread.
What is it?
Well, mostly it is exactly what its name suggests: bread that is crafted, rather than mass produced.
You can give special attention to the ingrediants, shape, and texture.

For ease of keeping up with feedings we started ours on a Sunday.

Here is the recipe we are using for our Sourdough Starter:


Thats it.
No yeast, no sugar, nothing else.
Just water and flour and your tender loving care..

To get started you need a large
ceramic bowl, a wooden spoon,
unbleached, organic all-purpose flour,
and purified water and a love for fresh home-made bread.

Add 4 cups of flour (for a large "mother")

and 3 cups of water

slow and easy girls...
stir well, and cover with a wet dishcloth
that's it!

You will be leaving your mother on your counter.
Never put her in your fridge (humidity causes mold),
and (if started on a Sunday) you will feed her
every morning (monday-friday) 2/3 cups flour
and 1/2 cups water, stirring and recovering her with the dishtowel.

This is what she should look like after a day or so:

Lots of air bubbles (lets you know she is doing her job), and
very thick and fat feeling (kinda how I feel some days =).

After her first real feeding, she looks healthy and glowy don't you

On the seventh day (which, by the way, is the day of rest for your mother ) your mama
is ready. She's been working hard all week for you and now you can enjoy some of
that hard work.
She should have lots of air bubbles and be smelling sweetly sour.
So you can take two cups out and cover her back up (don't feed her anything
today, she is resting, and while your at it, cover me back up and I'll sleep an hour longer.)
Then on Sunday, start your feeding schedule again, adding 2/3 cups flour
and 1/2 cups water, back to work mama....up and at em mama..
Anytime after that first week that you want to make bread other than on
Saturday, just take what you need from the mother
 before you feed her for the day. Just make sure you always add back
to her what you take away. I love that concept...

We haven't quite made it to that point with our new starter but when we do we'll post more pictures
and some recipes for the different kinds of bread we're making.

Just remember that this is your mother. She is adapting to your home.
So she will be different from any other starter you've bought or been given.
Sourdough is very forgiving and you can (almost, most of the time =) revive it back to life.
kinda like you, huh? bad day?? tomorrow you'll be better.
Your mama is the same way. She understands..
There are many many ways of starting, feeding, and storing your sourdough starter, this
is just the way we have found we like.

Here is some basic stuff from what we've read,
You'll want to use organic flour or at least as close to that as you can find.
Just plain ol' pillsbury dough seems to do weird things.
Same thing for the filtered water,
the chlorine in your tap water will kill your starter.
You will also need an instant thermometer for when you bake the bread and
a dutch oven is nice to have (but not neccessary at all!).

Why not try making your own starter today (or Sunday)?
 I find her comforting.
I talk to my mama.
"You're looking good mama."

"How ya doing mama?"
 You get the drift. She is good company.

when my house smells of  fresh soudough bread
I'll be so so happy.. and to think this is the way
God meant bread to be.


Emily, wife of Jeremy said...

First I love the music. It brings back the feeling of peace from Jewel's blog, Eyes of Wonder.

I have never had success with sourdough from a self made starter. I will have to try to this. My husband LOVES sourdough.

Anonymous said...

hey Emily,
Yes I love the music as well..
Kinda slows ya down.

Try this sourdough starter. It seems easy and I know the bread will be great!


Anonymous said...

Hey Robin,
My hubby loves sourdough too. Do you know if this can be done with whole wheat flour?
Sounds like that mamma will be providing lots of warm yummy goodness in the days to come :-). Oh my, with soup, it does sound heavenly.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tammy,
Yes this can be done but.......
everything that we've read says it's really hard making a mother with whole wheat unless your used to sour dough..

hope this helps
Good Luck,

Renata said...

Hi Robin
Firstly thanks for visiting my blog - I'm glad your boys liked the frog pictures. To answer your question we live in NSW Australia.
I also just started a sourdough starter 2 weeks ago (in fact today is the first day according to our recipe we can use it - which means I'm going to comb the internet for a nice sourdough bread recipe). We call ours Nana - my friend calls hers Grandma so I thought it was appropriate.
Enjoy your starter & I hope you get many wonderful years from Mama!
God bless you
PS I have added you to my blogroll - I hope that's alright - if not please just leave a comment saying so.

bbmommy2 said...

Hey friend!

I've never made my own starter, but I'll have to give this a try. I do love making Artisan bread. I have a book titled 'Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day.' The longer it sits the more sourdough like it gets.

Don't ya just love the smell of bread baking? :)

Anonymous said...

hey Brandi,
Sister where have you been?
Busy working on that business of yours?..? God bless you guys..
Think of you often,


Sheila said...

I just picked up a 25 pound bag of organic flour this morning....I will be making this simple starter for sure! I made a really good honey oatmeal bread today...a new recipe that I will be making often! I will have to blog the recipe soon. In your entry you talk about Mama resting (which I thought was Sunday) but then you wrote to feed it again on I off on my days?
I have been following Farmama's blog - on my sidebar - she inspires me to be careful in what I prepare for my family. :)

Anonymous said...

Your mama will rest on Saturday (which would be the seventh day if you are starting on Sunday). Thus you do begin feeding her again on Sunday.
Hope thats more clear. =)


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