This is my latest pet project, one I'm more and more proud of with each day that passes. Much like a pet, it requires love and attention daily. If I don't tend to my "collection", I'm not sure what would happen, maybe nothing, maybe something disastrous, but I know it's worth nurturing.
Over the past few weeks, I've become a little freakish about what we're eating. Thanks to an evil discovery involving a loaf of MONTH old bread with no mold, baking our own healthy, preservative free bread became an obsession.
After the success of my wheat bread (with the only complaint being that it needed more honey which I used the last of on the bread) I wanted to branch out. Next was hot cross buns for Good Friday breakfast, followed by wheat dinner rolls and Amish white bread on Easter. Still not satisfied with my knowledge, I started researching sourdough starters.
There is a site called Sourdough Home that is a fountain of knowledge for creating sourdough. Hoping to be a "sourdough purist", I followed Mike's way of starting a sourdough starter, the measuring cup in my picture. Four days later, it's doing great!
Being a worrywart, I also found a starter that used yeast (which I call my cheater starter) shown in the bowl in the middle. This starter is also doing quite well and will be ready to use soon.
These two have completely different smells at this stage of the game because the "cheater" was started with yeast while the other was simply started with flour and water. It will be interesting to make a batch of each to taste the difference! I'm hoping to do that sometime next week and will definitely post my results.
On the left is a bag filled with Amish Friendship starter. I can remember my mom receiving bags of starter and making some wonderful fruity breads with them. I'm hoping to do the same and I have friends waiting for their share of it as soon as it's ready.
So, my friends have dogs and cats, I have my various containers of starter. Every night, I uncover them, feed them, and give them a vigorous stir to make sure they have enough air to grow properly. I'm still slightly worried that one of these times they will grow out of their containers and I'll have a dripping mess, but hopefully I'm doing a good job of watching them and I will move them to bigger containers as needed.