Tuesday, July 26, 2011

sour dough {edited}

Right now I'm in the kitchen trying to convince my sour dough starter to grow, grow, grow.  I have yet to be successful in my sour dough ventures, but I have feeling that maybe my patience has been the problem and not my starter.  This notion was brought about after I spent a little time on the Cultures for Health site and watched some of their wonderfully informative videos.  Did you know that when the brown liquid rises to the top of the starter, that means your starter is hungry?  I didn't!  What helpful information!

impromptu backyard picnic

So while I'm in here growing bubbles and bacteria, my loves are in the backyard welcoming the sunset.  I love to peek out the window and see what they are up to.  On my last check, Moonpie was walking around the backyard trying to balance a bucket of water on her head while singing a song.  Always a song on that girl's lips.  I love her creativity.  I could see it in her face that she was somewhere far, far away.  I kept my peeking to a minimum in fear of ruining her moment.  Her private moment wrapped up in her wonderful mind.  I walked away from the window so grateful that I get the chance to share this life with these two precious people.

This morning I got up ready to feed the starter and make sour dough pancakes.  There were bubbles, but only on the surface.  And the starter had a distinct odor.  The kids were grossing out, but I pushed on.  Sure, it smelled like baby poop, but I've never had a successful starter, what do I know?  Maybe it's supposed to smell really awful and then miraculously turn into pure delciousness.  Let's just say that was bad thinking on my part.
After more research on the Cultures for Health site, I've realized that I'm not supposed to start a culture with freshly ground flour.  Can anyone give me any pointers on this?

(I should add that the culture I'm using is not from Cultures for Health.  This particular brand did not note if I was to use white flour or whole wheat.  I'm assuming at this point that it was probably intended for white flour.)


City Sister said...

I find mine does best if I feed it and let it out on the counter for about 2 hours...then refrigerate it. I use white flour in mine for feeding and then use wheat flour in the bread itself...that way you also have the gluten that makes bread nice and fluffy.

amanda {the habit of being} said...

i've never made it with a purchased culture but have had success making a starter with kefir...i found a recipe in an amish cookbook and it's worked and since i always have kefir on hand it made sense. will be curious to see what you find out! and like your commenter city sister said, i do feed mine with white flour ;-)

The Farmers said...

Bummer! I was really hoping this was the time it would work. I want to make sourdough so bad!Let me know when you master the art of this difficult starter.

Rosie_Kate said...

Try feeding it with raisin water. Take the amount of water that you need for a feeding and drop in a tablespoon or two of organic raisins. Let that soak a while, then use the water for feeding. Do that for a few days. The yeasts from the raisin skins will go into your starter and get it good and yeasty. I think I've noticed off-odors when an undesirable bacteria gets going in the starter. You can also try adding a little bit of honey along with a couple feedings to encourage the yeasts.

Also, I've had more trouble with whole-grain starters than with my white starter. I'm not sure why, since the yeasts should like the whole grains better... Anyway, I know have only a white starter going and I just use it to make a half-n-half white/whole wheat bread. Works great! Compromise, I know...