My mountain man and I love sourdough. The sourer the better. About two years ago my mountain man started me a starter so we could make our own super sour sourdough. It didn’t work.
I asked around, to see if anyone had one. No one did. Or at least no one would admit to me that they had one. I gave up. I had a job, I volunteered a lot. I didn’t have time to make bread.
Then a few months ago, I made a desperate plea to my friends to share their sourdough start with me.
No one answered.
It seemed that no one was practicing the fine art of hooch dough. Or maybe they were just unwilling to share, afraid that I would kill their pet.
For months I pitied myself for not having a good sourdough start. I wanted a 50-year-old baby. The perfect super-sour starter to make perfect bread the first time. I would be a bread genius.
But it never came knocking.
So after watching Nancy SIlverton talk about her sourdough on PBS, I thought I’d just get off my whiney hiney and make it myself. In 50 years I’d have a 50-year-old starter, anyway. And I’m a housewife, dammit. I can make bread.
It seemed so easy.
First problem: I wanted to use grapes to help feed the yeast, but I wanted to get organic grapes so that I wouldn’t have pesticides in my bread. I also wanted to leave the grapes fairly unwashed, so that any yeast that’s naturally on them would make it into the starter.
It’s January. There are no grapes right now.
So I’ll have to wait for some local organic grapes to be in season.
I’m not very good at waiting.
As an insurance policy I went ahead and started a regular starter last week.
Here’s how I did it.
Next I collected the tools of my new trade. A wide-mouth glass container (I’ll use a jar for the “real” starter, this one’s the insurance policy so I just used a pyrex dish I had) along with a cup of AP flour and a cup of warm water.
And then I put the lid on. I never even got to drink my tea!
I will sit my slurry somewhere warm – between 70 & 80 degrees. The only place in my house that is always that temp is on top of the frog tank.
Finally those lazy frogs are good for something.
If it ever gets bubbly I’ll stick it in the fridge. So far there’s not too much bubbling going on. Maybe those lazy frogs aren’t good for much after all. It’s such a long time to wait for grapes to be in season when I want to make a start right this second. And my simple start isn’t doing it. Maybe my house is too cold, but I think there’s not enough yeast in the air or in my flour. My insurance policy against the failure of my real dough is turning out to be a failure.
Again, I plead. I want some very sour starter. I’ll feed it, I swear. I won’t let it die.
I wish I could make my own bubbles. To make myself feel better about my lack of bubbles I decided to make some other stuff. I made some (hang on for food alliteration!) butter, buttermilk biscuits, BBQ sauce, beef & barley soup and Brussels sprouts with bacon.
Because Brussels sprouts are the best reason I could think of to eat some bacon today.