Thursday, January 22, 2015

A wonderful gift of sourdough starter

Last night I came home to a box in the snow off the side of the driveway, and was somewhat confused because I wasn't expecting it. When I opened it I was delighted to see sourdough starter as a gift from the lovely Caity who writes domestiCaited. I promptly and without thinking out timing properly, got started. I also in my glee didn't do the first step photos that I really need to get myself to start doing if I'm going to blog about things. Anyhow, below the cut, more about sourdough starter and ice.

I didn't do a step by step for the sourdough starter because frankly there are so many really good walkthroughs on the internet that I'm just going to let folks pick them. I found a couple I liked is the Breadtopia one for making your own starter from scratch. What I'm using is the King Arthur instructions since it was a King Arthur kit that Caity was kind enough to send. So far things seem to be going well, and it is simple enough so far. The reason I said before I thought about timing, the first step is 8 - 12 hours, the second two steps are 2 - 4 hour waits. I did the initial step immediately at around 8 PM, which put the second step around 7 AM. That means that the next two steps need to be done while I'm at work. So I feel a bit bad about dumping more to do on the Lady of the House, especially when it's something I am really enthusiastic about. Things I've learned so far.
1: Make sure you measure the cup of flour really precisely, this is a fairly precise recipe.
2: The cover loosely is important for air flow reasons, but with a cat in the house that feels the need to warp speed around the house ricocheting off everything make sure that covering is solid, or that she can't reach it.
3: It's kind of tough to maintain a good temperature range when you're relying on a wood stove for heat which leads to a lot of temperature flux, the recipe wants a temperature of 68 - 70 which seems very warm to me.
4: 1 serving of sourdough starter is easily enough for multiple sets of starter. There are at least 2 times in the process where it says to discard or give away half.
The up shot of this is, Caity's gift is going to grow and spread to be shared with more than just us, again thanks!
The other major thing in our life taking attention is the ice. For the first time in my life I've been wishing for snow instead of rain. Right now we have a lot of ice on the ground which is unpleasant, and while I've sanded most of the driveway, there's still this section, about 1/3rd of it which is about 60 yards long that still needs to have the tracks sanded. Even with sand down it's a slippery and somewhat difficult trip up and down the driveway. Without traction enhancement in the form of yak trax we'd be in trouble going up and down. We're expecting more precipitation on Saturday and Sunday, maybe during the week as well, and I really hope that it's just snow, not some horrific mix again. Before that comes I'm going to try to clear down some of that center strip of snow to make it a bit easier to clear with the snow blower as long as we get enough to be able to use it. So far this winter, most of the snow has been little enough the snow blower isn't useful, or slushy enough that the snow blower can't throw it which has led to the driveway being almost as bad as it's ever been. As bad as the first winter where I was hand shoveling, and eventually stopped being able to get it done. The difference is, this time we have more experience, lots of sand, and YakTrax. What would have been such a big problem in the past we'd been thinking about if living here was realistic for us is now an inconvenience. Not a minor one, but not such a major one we're feeling any degree of panic. We're getting good at this. Now we just need to get the tools to make this easy! At this point, this is home, and we like it that way, we just get better at living here every year.

1 comment:

  1. Have you read "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day"? It's similar to a sourdough started, except you bake off whole chunks, and it lives in the fridge (which might be more like some of your room temperature). The book could really use some weights, but the concept is pretty sound.
    When I did sourdough I used the King Arthur ceramic crock to keep it in (insulated and easy to clean if your sourdough goes bad).