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I'm a busy stay-at-home mommy of a 2 year old monst-- er toddler. This is a blog about stuff I like to cook, including recipes and pictures. <3

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Sourdough Starter Experiment # 1
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 | Time: 9:01 AM

Been a while since I've written anything, I've moved and lots of other things and just haven't had the time for my little hobby. Now, things are starting to even out into a more patterned lifestyle for me again, so... I'm back, y'all! :)
Anyways, I've been reading up on sourdough bread. Its a very weird thing. Maybe because its so incredibly simple. I always considered it one of the more complicated breads because its really tasty! ^_-
Although you could certainly complicate just about anything, sourdough bread looks like one of the easiest breads to make, as far as 'yeast' breads go. I mean, there's lots of steps to it, but they're really easy/quick and there's hardly any ingredients!

So today I started my 'Sourdough Starter Experiment # 1', with info from this site - 1 cup warm water, 1 cup flour whisked together and put into a non-metal container. That's it!
Its supposed to sit like this for 24 hours, in a warm place (70-80 degrees. I find on top my refrigerator is a great place, since heat rises, it doesn't get too chilled by the air conditioner). You add more flour/water combo and keep doing that for several days until it gets frothy. Then you can refrigerate it and use it. The flour and water create a kind of yeast by fermenting and gives your bread rise and sour taste. OK, that's the theory, so we'll see how it goes.
I actually used a bit of hot potato water, from cooking potatoes, and some cold water to make my 1 c warm water. Apparently potato starch is a good thing for making yeast. I wonder if I should make a 'control' group with just water and flour and see what the difference is...**evil scientific mind at work >.< ** So, that's that I suppose. I'll continue to post how it goes. Hopefully in a week or so I'll be able to make some seriously tasty sourdough bread! I'll need a great soup recipe to go with it, then I can proudly send my (hopefully) delicious creation to work with my hubby, so he can brag about what a great cook I am ;P For non-sourdough type bread - Check out my previous post - Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

SSE #1 Day 2 - The second day my 'starter' was very bubbly and had a small amount of the brownish 'hooch' liquid on top. I stirred it back in and added the 1c water 1c flour combo.

Day 3 -
My starter is a bit funky smelling. Though on closer sniff, it smells alot like sourdough, just stronger. I'm not sure I'd consider it a good smell, like the instructions say (a beery smell) but sourdough is kind of stinky anyway, and it definitely smells like sourdough. Slightly worried about the stink, if its really awful tomorrow, ill throw it out and start over
Lots more bubbles, and the mix is kind of spongy on top. More brownish liquid, this time in the center of the mix. Per instructions, I poured half the mix off and added the flour/water combo.
Since it was kind of stinky today, I think its close to 'done'. I'm not really sure if the bubbles in the mix are considered 'froth', or if they mean like a soda shook up, or just really spongy. I think I'll give it one more day before I refrigerate it. I'm worried about leaving it out longer than that... either way, my 'bakers instincts' tell me one more day should be perfect, so we'll see.

A few weeks later... XD
Well, I've got mixed results. Perhaps I did something wrong? The sourdough was certainly sour smelling, [not FOUL smelling though, just stinky] and I did manage to make a few decent loaves and some lovely bagels, with plenty of sourdough-type taste. Not too overwhelming, just enough to know its 'sourdough'. But I never could get much rise out of the starter. I know its supposed to take alot longer than baker's yeast, yet I still feel I did something wrong. So I ended up using baker's yeast in my dough recipes along with the starter, it really was just for flavor at this point. Perhaps I will try again at some point, but I've got too many other projects to pursue just now :>

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