Saturday, 28 April 2012

Protecting the Daily Bread

I've been baking a lot of sourdough bread since last year when a friend gave me some starter.  I love it!  It makes wonderful, healthy bread and my starter has been getting stronger and stronger.  I have been getting really good, quick rises from it.

Now, my dear little Buddy Boy is a very helpful person.  He wants to skip being a dependant six year old and jump straight into being a useful and capable adult.  While I am trying to get him ready for school in the mornings, he pops outside to collect wood for the fire, sweeps the floor or feeds the dogs and cat.  Sometimes he writes a comprehensive shopping list, and although he can't actually write yet, what he scribbles is spot on!  "We're running out of bananas... There's no Vegemite... We need some icy poles."  (The latter being his choice of grocery item, not mine) 

The other day he decided to do the dishes for me.  It wasn't until the next day, when I went to make some bread, that I realised he had found my starter on the bench, tipped it out and washed the bowl!!!  I was devastated!  I would have to make one from scratch and it would take months to get it permorming as well as the one I had been using!

I spent a day mourning my wonderful starter before I realised, as luck would have it, I had some jars of starter in the fridge!  The previous week I had decided to give some to a friend and some to my daughter's teacher.  The teacher was nowhere to be seen and the friend wasn't at the school that morning so I brought the jars home and popped them in the fridge and promptly forgot all about them.

So I still have my precious and wonderful starter and I have learnt a lesson.  My starter is too valuable to risk losing and from hereon in I will be keeping a spare jar at all times.

Are you mad on sourdough too?  How long have you been using the same starter?


purplepear said...

We have been using the same starter for 2 years now. We have had similar experiences (not Buddy boy) but mishaps none the less and have found small bits left in the jar we store it in and just fed that up. Must be careful! But what a boy to being doing all those jobs. He must have great role models that he can imitate.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

What a mature little boy you have there, clearly you are doing a great job parenting and giving him the skills he needs to be on an even playing field. I know adults who are not even that switched on.
I tried amking my own starter and after a few failed attempts I was given some by the lovely Linda Woodrow, who was gifted hers by someone else. So mine who I have named Elvis is quite old but has been with me for less than a year.

Linda Woodrow said...

We went away to the beach for a week with my sister. Took the sourdough starter (for pancakes and so as to keep it fed). Packed the car. "Is the starter safe? Not going to spill?" "Yes". We get there and open the door and a gooey mess drips like gloop from it. My partner was so apologetic. I think he really thought it could be the end of a beautiful (30 year) relationship. A few months earlier though, I had given some to my sister, and she brought hers too. So I went home with a sibling sourdough. Moral of the story is inspire everyone you know to do sourdough and spread the starter around!

Linda said...

Hi Kate, Good to know I'm not the only one! I can just imagine how excited you were to salvage the dregs! There is a real feeling of panick when you think you've lost your bread!

Hi Fiona, Yes he is amazing but he drives me mad when I'm trying to get him to clean his teeth but he's out doing 'important' jobs! How lucky to be able to be able to get a hold of Linda's starter! I was lucky to get an exsisting one too but no idea how old it is. They perform well with age, don't they? I feel a little bit proud of mine. Fancy forming an attachment to my flour and water living being!

Hi Linda, You made me laugh! I can imagine how scared your partner felt! He was probably shaking in his boots. On your advice, I contacted someone today who recently asked about making sourdough. I'm going to teach her. You know where my spare starter will be, don't you?! Good advice!

Linn said...

Hi Linda,

I tried sourdough a couple of years ago but didn't have much luck. After reading your post though I think I may have been too hasty in giving up. I expected that the starter would act the same as yeast from the first day that I used it!

I think I will give it another go and be a bit more patient with it.

Andrea said...

Hi Linda
I would love to make sour dough but haven't been successful in getting a starter. Are you able to forward me any information about this as the stuff I have looked up on the internet seems so complicated. I would appreciate any advise or help you could give.

jade said...

Hey ma. I'll happily keep some for you (if you teach me how to use it!)

farmer_liz said...

I'm a novice sourdough baker (as you know), but for my kefir I have been using the same principle that Linda suggested, I keep giving it to anyone who shows a passing interest. We also keep a few backup jars in the fridge. So I must do the same with my sourdough starter (which I got from a course I did a couple of weeks ago, don't know how old it is!), I would hate to have to start again!