Cook It 2012: (Sourdough) Bread

Hi! How are you? You are still here…that is a relief. It has been a long stretch, I know. I’m sorry.  I feel the need to apologize to everyone. Anyone reading. My lovely partner. My seriously awesome kiddo. My friends. The chickens. And, oh, the dog. The poor dog.  Does anyone want to take her for a walk?

You see- I had a business to launch.  I had a launch party.  It turned out fantastic!  I couldn’t have hoped for better. So many lovely people. Rare, perfect weather. Amazing support. And, it was my birthday. What a better way to have a birthday than to finally launch the business you’ve dreamed about?

I also have tended to hundreds of seedlings. Yes, really. Hundreds.  The little plants take a lot of monitoring and shuffling.  But more on them later.  I’m here to talk about bread.  It is time for discussing  Cook it! 2012: Bread.

I continued my exploration of sourdough. Yes, I am still working on that sourdough.  Soon to be known only as that.damn.sourdough.    But, let’s take a look anyway.

grow and resist sourdough bread making

Yes, the Pyrex loaf pan is lovely. But one should never bake bread in it. Never I tell you! Your bread will stick and you will be very sad.  I will say that sourdough sandwich bread is looking pretty good though isn’t it?   I’m getting there.

Honestly, getting there is all I care about with sourdough at this point. Why? Because I’m kind of tired of buying flour to feed that little sucker. And I have to throw away so much of it as discard.  Let’s face it: sourdough is frickin’ temperamental. Do you want to know one thing I don’t need in my life? Temperamental anything, that is what.  A sourdough starter is like your moody ex-girlfriend with intimacy issues. Just say no to drama and turmoil.

grow and resist sourdough bread pancakes

Where was I? Oh, yes, the discard does make lovely sourdough pancakes. Truly. The Babylady says “Can we have some of those pancakes? The BEST ONES WE EVER ATE! PLEASE!”  I know, you are dying to know: does this mean a moody ex leads you to good things, you might ask? Well, yes, yes it does. True story friends!

My goal is now to “get in and get out.”  I want to learn it and know I can do it. Then get the hell out and back to dependable yeast.  But if the zombie apocalypse comes, this girl has chickens (eggs), a kick-ass garden, and the ability to make non-commercial-yeast bread. And it will rise dammit.

Clearly I’m no Doomsday Prepper stockpiling ammunition and such. I’m more peace-love-hippie-let’s-drink-kombucha-and-get-a-remote-commune-far-away-from-those-guns. But there is a certain satisfaction in knowing how to do some basic things. If I can’t buy yeast, I still want bread. Period.

Last month I got my starter going fairly easily, but the method felt more involved than I felt I would do regularly. I decided to see if I could use the starter in my old Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day method.

grow and resist sourdough bread making

Looking pretty good isn’t it?

I decided to use 1.5 cups of starter, meaning I would need to cut the amount of flour/water in the recipe in the same ratio. My uses 2 oz. flour/4 oz. water so I decreased the 5 minutes bread by ½ cup of flour and 1 cup of water.  This may or may not be exactly right, but given my general laxness in measuring I’m sure it was as close as I’m likely to get.

I am still having some problems. My friend Mel that I mentioned in my last bread post came by to check on it and sniffed/tasted/touched and generally performed bread rituals that only a breadmaster would comprehend.  It isn’t quite right yet. The starter smells a bit “banana-y” and it separates a lot.

grow and resist sourdough bread making

The texture is definitely improving. I’m close. So close. I am not sure how much longer I’ll keep experimenting. I might move on to trying different methods of storing a starter. Fridge vs freezer vs drying.  Or I might just call it done-enough.  We’ll see.  In the meantime,  I think Mel might be popping in for a bread-y guest post!

Before then, toast. I love toast.  Do you have a favorite topping or spread?  I love toast with smeared avocado and a dash of salt. If I’m feeling super decadent I love my toast with thick peanut butter slightly melting from the heat of the toast topped with cinnamon sugar. Trust me on that one. It is rockin’.

But most of the time, it is simple.

grow and resist sourdough bread making

Homemade buttered toast + fresh, over-easy egg= Perfection.

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13 Responses to Cook It 2012: (Sourdough) Bread

  1. Oh my gosh, I know JUST how you feel! I blogged about my frustration in starting my sourdough also ( since it took me 4 starters to get there! It became my purpose in life! I was obsessed with figuring it out. I finally did get my starter up and running and the bread making soon followed. I can definitely say I’ve done it (started from flour and water only), I reliably baked tall perfect looking loaves and the bread was fantastic. But.
    It never had that particular fine texture that you get from really good bread. I think I need to experiment with different types of flour. I have it in my head I need spelt flour but it isn’t available locally. So I quit making it for a while and when I get my hands on some spelt flour, I’ll fire up some more starter and give it a go. Otherwise, I’m happy I was able to participate in such an old baking ritual, given that I am generally a plodder when it comes to culinary arts.
    Congrats on your starter and your bread! From one starter survivor to another…you ROCK! 🙂

    • Back at ya’! Your post was great and trials were great! Pesky starters. Grr. Where in the midwest are you btw? I can’t remember if I have asked that before or not?
      The texture thing is impossible I think. I want chewyish, yet light, flavorful bread. Mine is pretty dense still. Grumble, grumble.

  2. jess s says:

    “A sourdough starter is like your moody ex-girlfriend with intimacy issues.”

    You just turned me off sourdough starters forever!

  3. Pingback: There’s Flour Everywhere | grow it cook it can it

  4. Hilarious. My roommates and I used to bake sourdough in college. Then we got bored with it, but no one threw it out. The black beast just lived on in the fridge until some unlucky soul had to discard it when we moved. It wasn’t pretty. Not my finest culinary moment 🙂

  5. I’ve never used a starter (other than the 5-minutes-a-day bread — does that count?), and now you’ve convinced me I shouldn’t start. 🙂 But your eggy breakfast looks awesome and is seriously making me hungry…

  6. Pingback: Cook it 2012: (On How Not to) Make Butter | Grow & Resist

  7. lillywarner says:

    This post is so awesome. I came to it for the sourdough tips, but then stayed and laughed my ass off at the zombie apocalypse links! And the eggs and toast at the end look so delicious. I want to make sourdough bread now, so I can have that meal!

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