Page 1 of 1

Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:32 pm
by Drakenstead1
Sourdough is one of the pillars of self reliance as bread is the staff of life. It fits in with my generally valid rule of prepping

Anything that does not improve life in the here and now most likely will not do so in the event of an EVENT.
In other words self reliance is the heart of prepping. Besides home baked sourdough stuff is just tasty.

We've been doing sourdough for years with much success and a few failures. We have never been able to catch a really reliable yeast/lactobacillus culture that provided vigorous action and the sour taste of a classic starter. After many years we think we finally have it. Seems that it is simply a matter of luck and the right growth medium. We were given a book on gluten free sourdough which has a lot of tasty looking stuff. We don't need gluten free but are not adverse to it. One of the recommendations was to base a starter on whole rye. We did so using 2 heaping cups of whole rye flour and 2 cups of our filtered well water. After two weeks we fed it again using two more cups each of rye and water discarding half of the subsequent mix. After two more weeks we had a spectacular and vigorous bubble of starter.
We put a cup and a half in a pint sterile canning jar lidded it and tucked it into the refrigerator. We used to rest to make a passable loaf of whole wheat rye bread. OK but not spectacular. Over the next year we would activate the starter once a month and give it another try. The result was always good but never really "sour".

Finally this week we fired it up for one more try. The starter activated with even better vigor than before and produced a marvelous sour aroma. We started with a batch of Austrian Sour Rye Pancakes which were no less than spectacular. I'll recipe them below. Next we opted for a loaf of plain white bread with the balance of the starter. We took another cup and a half out and refrigerated it for next time. Then we made a typical white bread dough with it baking it on a stone with a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. We were rewarded with a top notch crispy crust loaf that set our guests to drooling. Those who told us that it takes at least a year for starter to properly mature were correct. Patience is the key. Inside the door it unlocks is not only self reliance but really really good bread. Our staff of life runneth over.

[b]Austrian Sourdough Pancakes
2 Cups sourdough starter
1 Cup of whole rye flour
1 Cup of milk
1 Large egg well beaten
3 TBS melted butter
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp non iodized salt
sufficient all purpose flour to
achieve your desired consistency

Mix it all together until smooth and let sit in a warm place for about an hour
Bake on a 400 Degree F griddle for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Shortcut: Dissolve 1 tsp baking soda in 1 TBS water and gently fold into the batter
Bake as directed but tell no one that you cheated. You might loose your
Grandpa Pancake maker's certificate.

Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:31 pm
by arkieready
I started, AGAIN, a sour dough about a month ago. The previous few I had to throw out. They smelled ugly, spoiled, in just days.
I can usually get a good sour aroma, but it doesn't give any loft. So I've been cheating with dry yeast for loft, starter for sour. Rye is lovely, isn't it?
I'd make those pancakes tomorrow if DS would eat sourdough. Can't sneak it by him.
Thanks for the recipe.

Now that your starter is peak, would you freeze small samples? Or dehydrate? For emergency future use, or sharing.

Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:25 pm
by Dirk Williams
Thank,you, we've had low success over the years, with our starters. Asked my wife to copy this for future use.

Thank you.


Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:06 pm
by Drakenstead1
OK Then
Arkieready, I take your comment as a hint that you might like a bit of starter. I'll experiment with it. There's a way to spread starter on a piece of cling film or wax paper dry it and mail a sample. If I get it to work I'll PM you and get an address where you can receive it.
If it gets black with liquid on top that's normal. Simply stir the black & liquid in feed it with two cups AP flour and two cups of filtered water and start it again.
If there's mold on it scrape it off with a spoon, add two cups of filtered water, let it sit for a day then take a cup of it and restart the sponge. Dispose of the rest.
It's called "sweetening the pot". It might be bacteria in your water that is a problem which is why I use filtered water. We gave In to the advertising and bought one of those Zero Water filters. It took our well water from 2,450 PPM of solids to zero which I think very likely contributed to our current success.

For you and Dirk I can suggest the best (in my opinion) text on the subject: "World Sourdoughs From Antiquity" by Ed Wood. He's a retired scientist who really knows his subject. Back in the 90s he was the baker on the project to reconstruct the bakery and bake the bread for a NATGEO special on the bakery that fed the builders of the pyramids on the Giza plateau. The book is worth just the story on that particular adventure.

"Every step to self-reliance is a mile on the road to survival"
Mordicai the Masterbaker

Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:57 pm
by eochief66
This is an interesting book I bought a few years ago. The site has much information also.

Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:51 pm
by tamtbell
We've actually had a starter at our house now since 2014. Thankfully we had enough yeast in the area that it jumped right to it. Now a days we feed ours on the weekend, let it sit out for half a day or so until it gets nice and awake and bubbly. Then we put it in the fridge until we use it later. For Thanksgiving I made Garlic butter sourdough rolls from it. Hubby likes making just plain loaves with it, slathered with butter along with rabbit stew from our rabbits we raise. YUM

Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:12 pm
by Drakenstead1
The website eochief66 references belongs to the Ed Wood I reference in my last post.
Correct that it is if not the best at least one of the best references. Ed Wood is NOT
the pornographic film maker but a different person altogether.
His book is as I noted well worth the price.

Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:52 pm
by danthman114
mmm, sourdough, mustard, swiss cheese, and corned beef sammich... and a beer.

Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:54 am
by John Galt 1
Thanks folks for the Sourdough book links, just ordered one. I bake bread every few weeks but have always been worried about yeast if we ever had to go without... Hopefully I'll learn how to capture and grow my own yeast. And yes, I ordered a bit of sourdough yeast from Ed. Too much chicken manure in the pastures (and air) around here to totally trust airborne captured yeast.

separate but related thought... trade item, think about the value of a strong baking yeast for trade, especially if you can grow more.

Re: Sourdough Dreams

PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:13 am
by arkieready
Drake, I went back and reread my post. Lol does sound like fishing for a sample.
I wonder if my nominal success (or frequent failures) with sourdough has something to do with other things fermenting. I've made wine, cultured veggies, yogurt, creme fraiche. My environment has different things in the air. And I live in an RV which means my kitchen is in the middle of everything.
Question. Sometimes I taste in my sourdough bread something like soapiness. I do a long, cool rise and minimal kneading. Any idea why?