I have thought several times over the years about learning to bake sourdough bread. To be honest, it all seemed so complicated that I usually gave up before I even tried it. That all changed a few weeks ago when a dear sweet neighbor showed up with some sourdough starter to share with me!
Someone had shared with her, and she knew I loved to bake bread, so she shared the love. Or maybe she just wanted someone else to share the burden of learning. Either way, learning to bake with sourdough has been a fun new challenge with tasty rewards!
Feeding the Starter
The method I’m using to keep my starter alive is by feeding it twice a day (usually) and keeping it on my counter (Out of sight would be bad. I would never ever remember!) I pour off some of the excess starter into a jar in the refrigerator and I add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water to my starter and stir well. I place the lid on loosely so it can “breathe.” I try not to use the starter until it sits for at least 2 hours after a feeding, so it can get all bubbly and happy. Basically, I feed in the morning when I get up, then I go have my computer time and do chores. By the time I’m ready to think about baking, it’s ready for me.
What? No one gave you starter? Here’s how you can make your own! And here’s another method for good measure! Finally, here’s how NOT to make sourdough bread! (Or, as we say in the South, “Bless her heart!”)
I have a lovely group of homestead blogging friends who were quick to offer recipes and advice when I told them I had starter. Here are some great recipes to help you learn to bake with sourdough. I am working my way through the list, some I have tried and others I haven’t, but I am viewing it as a challenge. The only loaves I have failed with so far, I simply under-cooked on a day I wasn’t feeling well.
Ultimate Sourdough Cornbread Muffins – this is a great beginner recipe, because it isn’t as complicated as a risen bread. On top of that, my girls baked these for us while I made soup one night, and everyone gobbled them up! They have requested that we also try this baked in a cast iron skillet and fried as hushpuppies!
Easy Sourdough Artisan Bread The name says it all. I’ve had very good luck with this one. Although, like most breads, the humidity in the house seems to greatly affect the consistency of the dough and I often have to add more flour. Then again, maybe my starter is just “wetter” than hers.
Sourdough Lavender Scones – I haven’t made these yet, but don’t they sound fancy?!?
So, there you have it! I’ll call my sourdough baking a work in progress, but that’s pretty much how I categorize all areas of my life these days, so no worries here!
If you like this post, you might also like my “Baking Bread” Pinterest Board! And don’t miss a recipe! Sign up for Beulah’s Mooooooosletter and she’ll keep you up to date on all the farm happenings from a cow’s point of view!
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