Thursday, May 12, 2011

Adventures in Wild Yeast Catching

The past week has definitely been an adventure! I thought my sourdough starter was doing well. It had developed quite a bit of hooch on top by about day 5 or 6.

I've read so many differing opinions on the hooch and whether or not it's good to pour off or mix in. I decided on day 5 or 6 to dump it out since my starter was very liquidy. I finally attempted to make a loaf after about a week. The main issue is that it just didn't seem to rise much at all. I've read that bread made with sourdough starters can take a lot longer to rise than breads made with yeast. But, after several hours, I decided to just bake it. It tasted good, although not very sour.

I've been doing more research online to try and figure out what's going on with my starter and how to help it. It smells great - sour and yeasty. But, it doesn't seem to be doubling in size like it should. Today I broke down and added a bit of yeast to it. We'll see what happens. If all else fails, I'll use the rest of this starter to make pancakes or waffles and then start over.

I'm currently attempting a new bread technique. It's from the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It provides a very simple basic whole wheat recipe that you mix up and then store in your refrigerator. The dough lasts for two weeks and you can quickly make up a loaf as needed. The book also contains recipes that build on the basic one. The dough is currently rising so we'll soon find out how good the bread tastes. I'll update next time.

Our farm share begins next Wednesday and we can't wait. We've been enjoying fresh strawberries from up the street the past couple of weeks. Yesterday we went and picked a bucketful with friends. I don't think we've ever tasted strawberries as good as these.

The last adventure I have embarked on recently is making my own yogurt. I made my first batch yesterday and I'm not completely happy with it. But, we all ate some this morning and didn't get sick so I guess that's a start! It's all about learning new techniques and getting better each time. I'll post more about making your own yogurt soon.

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