Friday, January 21, 2011

SOURDOUGH!!

Since I have been living on the farm I have felt like I am channeling a bit of Laura Ingalls Wilder, my great-grandmothers, and various pioneer women who have gone before.  In these moments I enjoy making things from scratch, taking the time to do the simple things, even if they are more time consuming.  I know the outcome will always be worth it.

I love sourdough bread, in all capacities where one can use bread, I want to use sourdough.  If sourdough is not available I want rye.  A few weeks ago I made rye bread using a family recipe.  I even ground my own flour from the rye kernels.  It was awesome.  This week I took on sourdough bread.
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my starter 
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my recipe called for a baking stone.  I used a clean terra cotta plant dish











My husband, Andrew, found a starter recipe online.  It's simple really; a little flour, a little warm water, some yeast, and maybe some sugar.  Mix the items together and leave it alone for a few days.  In a way it's similar to the Amish Friendship Bread that gets passed around.


After a few days the starter is ready.  Today was my first attempt at making bread.  I found another recipe online through Food Network.com that I could use to make the actual bread.  Again, so simple it's crazy.
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look at the crusty edges! Yum!
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i love the rustic look of the crust


Talking with a friend, I found out that there are some sourdough bread starters in Alaska that are 100 years old.  It may sound a bit gross, but at the same time, way cool that it has been around that long.  Any bread made from that starter has got to have great flavor.
See, the premise of the starter is that it actually collects wild yeasts or spores that are in the air in your home.  Which means that sourdough starters would have a slightly different flavor depending on the region where the starter was made.  So my cousin's starter in Atlanta would taste a bit different than mine.
I love making bread.  I love the kneading and the rising, the anticipation of it all.  It isn't hard to make, and now that I started this project I just might be handing you a container and telling you that you too can do this.  Maybe someday my great-granddaughters will be making sourdough bread with my starter.  One never knows. Until then happy winter baking!

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