Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where I Make the Same Mistake Twice

Six days ago, I set out to prove that sour dough starter just happens. Never mind that bread has been made this way forever. Somehow, it just seems odd that this will grow yeast. I wanted to this to be a pure from scratch sour dough made from whole wheat flour, water, maybe a little sugar,and naturally occurring yeasts in my kitchen. No I didn't add the yeast, apparently they are airborne.

On day three, the flour/water mixture did a bubbling thingy, but still didn't smell or taste of sour dough starter. Two days ago, it had the distinctive sour dough taste. At that time, I put it in a plastic freezer baggie, gave it some more water and flour as well as a little bit of sugar to get it going. Then it was placed back on the counter. Today, it looked like my other starter - all bubbly and frothy, just light brown instead of white. The baggy was doing the balloon trick. My other starter has been known to walk off of the counter.

I decided to take a smell of the new batch and see if it was right. YOWWWW, this sour dough starter has a wicked aroma. Definitely sour dough, but man it made my nose burn. I didn't remember the other sour dough starter ever smelling like that, so I got it out and repeated the experiment. Note to self, do not stick your face into any baggie of sour dough starter and take a big whiff. Nose burning, eyes watering, lesson learned, I just haaaad to do it twice.


  1. I still want to know what makes it sour? I've made that dough recipe and it was just same old bread? Don't you need some other ingredient? What makes it different? Reminder...don't stick your heard in there again.....

  2. Anna, the bread isn't sour, the starter is. My sour dough bread is actually a little sweet as I use honey in it. It does have a little different flavor than regular yeast bread and my sour dough dough (dur couldn't avoid it) is softer than regular yeast bread.

  3. Debbie ... girl you made me laugh this morning .. do NOT stick your face in MOST bags .. it just isn't safe for YOU ! LOL

  4. LOL. Oh poor Debbi! Something about those darn bags that hold smells in.

    If the bread isn't sour I wonder why it's called sourdough? I suppose it's because of the "sour" smell you've experienced????

  5. Yummmm, I can almost taste the bread fresh out of the oven! Do you ever flatten out the dough, sprinkle cinnamon/sugar, then roll it up (and put in pan to rise) before you bake it? Yummm again! That's really good.

  6. We just bought a loaf of organic barley bread this past weekend that had just been taken from an outdoor bake oven, cooked on bricks heated by hot coals and ash! The baker let us peek into the bake oven (and also check out the enormous walk-in fireplace in his Colonial summer kitchen---I want one!!!!). He said he gets the starter for his bread from a baker in Oley, PA, who got his started 15 years ago by setting out a bowl of flour and water and allowed wild native Oley yeasts to colonize it. He's been using this same local sourdough starter ever since!

  7. I had a bag of starter that blew open the seal of the baggie; I walked into the kitchen, and it REEKED with the sour smell! How can something that smells so nasty taste so good?

  8. I've never done this. I use to make whole wheat bread loaves, two at a time, back in the days when my girls were young. You could have used those things for weapons, they were so hefty. Definitely never had to use Metamucil for a good while!

  9. I love sourdough bread!!! I have never made it from scratch though. It sounds like a fun thing to try(-: I love to make homemade bread rolls and special yeast bread I make every year for Christmas. I love how it smells up the whole house while its baking(-: Yummyyyy Hope you have a great day(-:

  10. Joy, you would think with three boys I would know not to put my face into anything and take a big whiff.

    cinj, it has to be.

    Linda, we do make sour dough sweet rolls.

    OFB, I think a brick oven would be very cool.

    Nola, I am really glad mine didn't break the couple of times it has crawled off the counter.

    Brenda, I hope my whole wheat loaves are on the lighter side. The whole wheat I have made in the past could be used as a weapon.

    Cindee, I love the way the house smells when we bake too. Now that it is cold out, a lot more baking will happen.

  11. Debbi,
    I had some sour dough starter for quite awhile. I just couldn't keep up with it, so I let it go! That makes it sound like a living thing! heh heh. I also have a bad habit of sniffing things. I am usually sniffing wet spots and puddles to see if they are a melted ice cube someone neglected to pick up or a puppy puddle!

  12. Lorilee, I wish I could see your face when you find you have a yucky sponge.

    I read somewhere that you do not have to follow the weekly feed and make bread routine as discribed in the Amish friendship bread instructions. Mine lives in the fridge and sometimes goes for weeks without being fed or used. I have had it for more than a year.