Sunday, September 24, 2023

Experimenting with Sourdough

 Ah, good intentions. I had so many good intentions to write more this year but alas, it is already September (almost October if I don't finish this soon!). 

September's project has been learning to cook with sourdough. I have always wanted to but have had many counter pets given to me by well-meaning friends. For some reason they had confidence in me and my ability to like their pet, enjoy their pet and keep it alive. Thankfully I am much better with real pets.

Last year, for my birthday, my awesome husband got me a grain mill! I had been wanting one for years. Alas it is still in the box! This summer I tried to grow some corn to grind but some animal stripped them from my garden before I even knew they were ready! Let me tell you, it has been a ridiculous experience and not especially fruitful.

Then my son decided he wanted to do a Chemistry class this year. We choose Chemistry in the Kitchen by Guest Hollow and I of course looked ahead and realized he would be learning to make a sourdough starter. As a person who cannot keep one alive, I will admit this terrified me a bit. Those who know me, know exactly where this is going... without a starter, I decided to take out about 20 books from the library on sourdough. Yes it really was at least 20 but I believe at the time I had less than 100 books checked out so it's all good.

Anyway, I quickly returned quite a few and kept four. One of the 20 had a recipe for making a starter from grapes. Guess what? My grapes actually grew this year! Thank you YHWH! The next day, I asked the kids to pick some for me as I recalled the recipe called for a quarter cup. They forgot and I got sidetracked. Two days later, I had my quarter cup of homegrown grapes... but I couldn't find which book had the recipe. 

The grapes sat on the counter for 24 hours.

Finally, I found a different recipe in a different cookbook but it called for more grapes than a quarter cup. Actually, it called for grapes or raisins. Ahh! I thought, I have raisins. I bought a 20 lbs. box of organic raisins that I have barely touched in months.

Hooray! So I whipped up the yeast water late at night. (You know, after the kids are in bed and you should also be in bed but you aren't ready and then bam it is midnight and you still are sitting on the couch because you are too tired to do anything... no, that's just me? Okay then.)

Much to my amazement, it worked!!!

I was so encouraged, I actually kept going! I used the yeast water to start the sourdough starter.

It worked! I now had my own counter pet made from the yeast in my field! I am still totally blown away that I did this.

Now what to do with it? My first recipe was crackers with the discard, which I will share another time as they weren't impressive but edible. Next was waffles. Those were absolutely delicious and to be share another time but as you can see from the photo, I started the yeast water almost a month ago and my sourdough starter is still alive. In fact, I promised the kids waffles in the morning.

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