Saturday, August 7, 2010

~Adventures in Sourdough~

**note: I have attempted sourdough in the past, using rye flour and it was soooo slow to become active, and sooo slow when rising to make bread that it came out smaller than I would have liked and waaaay too super sour. This time I am using whole wheat flour, and documenting the process.**

This morning, I began a batch of sourdough starter using GNOWFGLINS eCourse. I have a button for it on my left sidebar if you are interested. The great thing about this paid course is that they have a "pay as you can" policy. Therefore it is up to your discretion how much and when you pay. Each month you pay there is a free "gift" video for a new recipe. Mine today was sourdough bread bites. A sweet cinnamon, raisin, nut bread cut into snack size bars, made from sourdough starter. She said you could make it savory if you prefer by adding different spices and such. UM!

Day One, August 3rd, 9:30am:
I simply cleaned out one of my remaining 4 C mason jars, added 1/4 cup Chlorine free water. By the way, all it takes to remove chlorine from water is to let it sit at room temp for a couple days and the chlorine will dissipate and it will be ready to use. I used Poland Spring water, and it has set awhile so we should be golden, I hope!

Next I added 3/8 Cup of whole wheat flour. Simply use 1/4 cup, use one full scoop and then a half scoop. Mix well with a non-reactive utensil (I use the wooden handle to a silicone spatula personally because it works so well), cover loosely with saran wrap, set in a warm yet undisturbed, safe spot in your kitchen and you are on your way! I didn't take a picture, but I will update as I go through the process.

Feeding: Same day, August 3rd, 11:15pm, 13 hours after starting, I gave the starter a feeding before heading to bed. I added 1/4 C. poland spring water, stirred well, added 3/8 C soft whole wheat flour, stirred again and covered back up. Back to its corner it went.

This morning 8/4: Well 24 hours after beginning this starter, there are signs of life already! I am so pleased!! How rewarding to see your labors cooperate with you and produce something before your very eyes. I will be feeding my starter again in about an hour but first I took a couple shots to share with you my 24 hour old starter.

From now on when the starter is fed, we will remove half of the starter, to discard, and continue feeding as usual. It may seem wasteful but this is necessary until the starter is well established. Also, I change the container every couple of days so that I can clean them throughly. They get gross pretty fast. I change back and forth between a mason jar and a glass mix/pour bowl with measurements on it (thanks pampered chef--one of the 3 items I own and love by that company).

update-8/5/10--9:00AM: I forgot to feed my starter before bed!! This morning I saw a thin layer of hooch!! I stirred it in and then fed the starter. I think it's already very active from the looks/smell of it. I am so surprised how easy the experience is this time, with the whole wheat flour!!

Continue removing half, and then feeding your starter, stirring very well to incorporate air into your mixture before covering and setting aside for 12 hours. After about a week of a good process of bubbling, rising, receding and feeding you are ready to use your sourdough in some recipes.

Now that the starter has done it's thing for a good week, with bubbling, rising, receding and feeding, I am ready to utilize my starter to make some sourdough pancakes!

Rather than discarding half of my starter, I am going to add to it to double it. In the evening before bed I add 1/2 Cup of Poland Spring water and 3/4 Cup of whole wheat flour, stirring vigorously. Cover and place back in safe, quiet, warm corner. In 12 hours it will be ready for breakfast time!!

Once I use it for the pancakes, I will feed it again and continue in the Sourdough routine.

Sourdough pancakes and carmelized bananas


* 1 Cups sourdough starter
* 3 Cups soft whole wheat flour
* 3 Cups milk (nonfat dried is what I used, reconstituted)

Leave out at room temperature, covered overnight (12 hours max)

In the morning, mix batter well. In a separate bowl beat 2 eggs, 2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt. Gently mix into the pancake batter, but do NOT beat.

Ladel into hot skillet by 1/4 Cups. Cook until brown on bottom side, crispy on edges, and bubbles on top. Then flip and allow to cook on other side.

When pancakes are done, melt butter in skillet. Slice bananas and carmelize in butter. When hot and browned, top the pancakes with them. Add maple syrup and ENJOY!!!

These babies came out way too thin for my liking, and a bit rubbery when cutting. I usually use an old fashioned recipe and they are SO thick and FLUFFY. Lovely! However I wanted to add the health benefits of soaking, which is why I wanted to try sourdough. These had mixed reviews. Hubby and eldest son ate with no complaints. Younger sons didn't want to eat them. I would prob. also add a sweetener to the batter. There was just the right amt. of sourdough tanginess on a good note! When I figure it all out, I'll update this post.
This is my starter today, 8/9/10, 14 hours after being fed:

It's definitely doing it's thing....

....and now it's stored in a new home

I have noticed that my old-fashioned pancake recipe calls for baking powder, whereas this sourdough one called for baking soda. I'm going to give it an old try with the baking powder and see if that makes any difference.....stay tuned!
August 10th, 8:11AM--

This morning I had at it again, this time replacing the 2 tsp of baking soda with 2 TBSP of baking powder. I also used 2% store bought milk, and added 4 TBSP of sugar. Today's sourdough pancakes were a bit more fluffy and not rubbery so I will definitely remain with the baking powder! They also take a tad bit longer to cook through the centers. They had just the right amount of tanginess, any more and I wouldn't like it. I lathered them with a LOT of syrup for the boys because they are just NOT used to anything like that and I would rather give them a little extra sugar than have them refuse it. It worked. They ate them up and I know they had a super healthy breakfast with soaked grains. WOO HOO!

If you are the type who only uses your starter once a week, you can keep it in the fridge and simply pull it out, bring to room temp, and feed the day before you plan to use it. If you use it often, keep caring for it as you have been. Now that I have a well established starter, and made my first successful recipe, I guess that means this post closes! Stay tuned for other sourdough recipes to come as I make them.

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