Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My new {pet}

Okay, so I'd like to think I'm a pretty good cook. While I do have issues burning garlic bread (mainly because I forget about it), my meals usually all turn out great. I like to make new things and have the family give their ratings. And baking is even more enjoyable for me. Well, this summer I got on a bread baking kick (along with my homemade yogurt & granola kick!). It's SOOOO much healthier and yummy. I usually do half white flour, half whole wheat flour and add 1/2 cup or so of ground flax. Everyone thinks it's delicious and it's always fresh. Plus you can't get too many Omega 3's these days, right? You are now asking, "What does this have to do with a new pet?"

Behold the Sourdough Starter. I've heard stories of women handing down their starter to their daughters upon getting married. Mothers of large families providing daily fresh bread from one batch of starter over a 25 year span! These things are like pets, you feed them daily until they are done fermenting and then put 'em in the fridge, only needing to feed them every 1 to 3 weeks (or how ever often one remembers - see perfect for me!). And supposedly the only way you can kill these is if you try to ferment it in temps over 100 degrees. Considering I can kill a cactus plant, this is also a HUGE plus!

Anyone want to play along? It SUPER simple - blend one cup of flour and one cup of warm water and pour it into a container. DONE. A wide mouth pickle jar works great but anything will do - just no metal. You leave it sit (between 70-80 degrees) and feed it every 24 hours ("feed" means dump 1/2 out and stir in 1/2 cup flour & 1/2 cup water). It should get lots of bubbles and have a pleasant sour or beery smell. After 3-4 days ( could be more or less), when you have a bubbly froth, it's done. Just put it in the fridge and give it some breathing room. If you use the pickle jar just poke a hole in the lid. Once the starter is chilled, it needs to be fed only once a week. Realistically, you can get away with less; it’s important to remember that your starter is a colony of life-forms that are almost impossible to kill (except with extreme heat). Even starving them is difficult. I will be posting more "exciting" pictures of my pet over the next few days to share the fermentation process. Hopefully it doesn't end up like the cactus!

No comments: