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Ariadne from Central June 30, 2020, 1:37 PM

Create Your Own Sourdough Starter!

We’ve all been through a stressful time lately.  Minimum, we’ve been stuck inside staring at an increasingly ‘lived in’ house. Maybe we’ve been away from loved ones, or maybe we’re just missing an activity that we used to enjoy. Like many of you I’ve pivoted back to some hobbies which I didn’t have time for before the quarantine, and checking off some of those long-term personal goals has gone a long way towards keeping up a sense of accomplishment.

Baking has become an obsession of late, not just for me, but for a lot of us it seems. So much so that I can’t find yeast anywhere in this town.  We’re clearly all looking for the comfort of warm bread. 

No yeast, no problem! I love sourdough bread; I can use this time to learn to make it for myself. However, perfecting the art of bread requires a bit of learning and a lot of patience. Things have not always gone perfectly for me, and I’m guessing that I'm not alone in this.

That’s why we’re bringing in baking expert and owner of the Saltine Baking company, Ashley Schmalenberg to give us some tips. The program is called Creating & Maintaining A Sourdough Culture From Scratch (You can register by clicking the link). Ashley will take you step by step through creating your own starter and demonstrate what to expect from the creation process at different stages. She is also there to answer all your burning bread questions (okay, maybe this was not the best word choice). Those of us with bread woes can get the help we need. And we're hoping that we can get the rest of you off to a good start, so that you don’t end up doing some of the things that I’ve done, such as:

  • Leaving the starter culture too long without feeding. It grew a nice furry mold.
  • Feeding it for weeks without realizing I should be tossing half of the starter when I fed it. I didn’t understand why it never seemed bubbly enough. Felt guilty about throwing it out, so I made a massive batch of pancakes, and another massive batch of crackers.
  • Making a leaven, and forgetting it for two days, then making another leaven, leaving it for too long again. Baked with it anyway and the resultant bread had the consistency of upholstery padding. Made a massive batch of croutons out of most of that bread.

Suffice to say, I could use some expert help.  If you could too, I’ll see you at the program!



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Ariadne from Central

Natural habitat: sipping good coffee while gardening

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