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Ronna
True Blue Farmgirl

1891 Posts

Ronna
Fernley NV
USA
1891 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  2:32:53 PM  Show Profile
During extra cold or hot weather in our ancestors day, the mother dough was kept in the keg of flour to insulate it from extremes. That's how the wagon train cooks kept it safe during their journeys west too.
Diana, my suggestion is to feed the starter the night before you plan to bake and it will be ready for use in the morning. Give it time to absorb all the new "food", which is the flour you add.
Linda, better to add more water and flour several times to increase the amount of starter rather than feed it a huge amount at once. It can be fed a couple times a day if that's your goal. Books will say to pour off half your starter if you are just feeding and don't use it, to keep the levels of the original starter from being overwhelmed. I have never done that, other than to pour off what I am sending to others. I also have some dried to be sure I never lose this strain again. Some share with dried, I usually send wet even though it would be cheaper to just put it in an envelope. To dry it, use a rubber spatula to spread it out very thin on parchment and when it's completely dry, crumble it and store in an airtight jar or ziploc bag. Or, when my container gets crusty and ugly, I transfer the starter to a new one and let the remainder dry until it falls of the sides and can be dumped out for saving. I use a cereal box size tupperware with the pour spout lid, that way I can let it have some air on the counter and still seal it tight for after feeding and storage in the fridge.
Yes, MaryJane keeps hers on the counter at all times, it's just a matter of preference and I don't use mine regularly.
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ennoid
Farmgirl in Training

22 Posts

D
FL
USA
22 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  2:53:55 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Alee

Hi Diana!

On the day you bake you don't feed your starter, you just bake with it. That way all the by products of your yeast eating the starch gets captured in the bread. The by products are gasses that cause the bubbling/rise. Then the next day you start feeding the starter again.

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
Please come visit Nora and me on our blog: www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com



Oops nevermind...I deleted this post after reading Alee's post below so as not to confuse anyone. Thanks Alee.

Edited by - ennoid on Jan 25 2009 4:03:39 PM
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  3:29:29 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Here is what MaryJane said on page 2. The Seventh Day for the starter, if you are following the schedule in the magazine, is Saturday. So Saturday you take out your starter for baking and set the mother starter a side. Then you bake and start feeding her on Sunday again.

I think this is an old time feeding/baking pattern so it leaves Sunday free of baking (which left time for church or socialization) but you still have fresh bread.

quote:
Originally posted by MaryJane

Here's what it says:

On the 7th day, your mother will be ready. It should have bubbles and smell pleasantly sour--like stout beer. In the morning (Saturday), spoon 2 cups of your mother into a mixing bowl. Then cover your mother (don't add anything to her today--it's her day of rest) but take the 2 cups you took out and turn it into bread using one of my recipes RIGHT THEN AND THERE (SATURDAY), not Sunday. Take a deep breath and put your thinking cap on.

I've asked WILLOWTREECREEK (Juli) to get up to speed on my "bread the MaryJane" way so she can help me answer your questions. (She's darn good in the kitchen and good with instructions.) In the meantime, carefully read what I've written so far. Most of your questions are easily answered in the link that is in the first post on this thread.

Happy Bread Making!


MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~




Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
Please come visit Nora and me on our blog: www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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Celticheart
True Blue Farmgirl

811 Posts

Marcia
WA
USA
811 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  3:32:09 PM  Show Profile
I'm posting a couple of my favorite sourdough recipes for you all to try. I don't have any going right now but it's certainly tempting. Might need to start some going tonight. Just a couple of comments first. I've been baking with sourdough for oh....about 35 years, give or take. My mama said to replace whatever you take out when you take it out, that is if you are using 1 cup of starter you immediately replace it with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. I keep mine in the refrigerator most of the time if I won't be using it much but I do leave it out for 3-4 days after adding to it. It's much more forgiving than you think. Using sourdough does require thinking ahead. As you've discovered, it's not fast food.

Old Fashion Sourdough Biscuits--some of you struggling with the bread might want to try these. They are great. More like yeast rolls than biscuits really.

1/2 cup of starter
1 cup water or milk
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Mix sourdough starter, water or milk and 1 cup of flour in a large bowl. Let stand overnight or all day at room temperature to rise.

When ready to bake biscuits, beat in 1 cup of flour. Combine the salt, sugar, baking powder and soda into the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and add to the bowl. Mix together and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead 10-15 times. Roll out to 1/2" thickness. Cut out the biscuits and place into a greased cast iron skillet. Brush tops with cooking oil, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Makes about 14 biscuits. Serve hot. The texture hardens when they are cool.


Sourdough Pancakes--these are what buttermilk pancakes want to be when they grow up

2 cups flour
2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup sourdough starter

Add flour and water to starter in a large bowl. Beat until smooth and let stand overnight in a warm place. In the morning, remove 1/2 cup of this and put it into your regular starter. Now to the large bowl add:

2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons of cooking oil
2 eggs

Mix together well and fold in:

1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water.

Don't stir much after the soda has been added. Cook on a hot, greased griddle or skillet. Makes 4-6 servings.

Enjoy!




"Nature always has the last laugh." Mrs. Greenthumbs

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country roads
True Blue Farmgirl

442 Posts

Melissa
Shinglehouse Pa
USA
442 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  3:34:51 PM  Show Profile
Yesterday I baked my first loaf in a cast iton bread pan...I ended up with a brick! After 9 1/2 hours it had hardly risen at all. The outside was really hard and I'm not sure if the inside was doughy or just extra moist. The dog ate the hard crust and the chickens were very happy to take care of the soft inside. I'm hoping next week goes better. I'm going to try a different pan and lower the baking temp some. I fed my mother this morning and she is doing wonderful.

Take care, Melissa.

Farmgirl # 352

~Think happy thoughts~
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  3:59:19 PM  Show Profile
Melissa - it really seems like a lot of people had similar results with their first baking. I am really thinking it is that the yeasts in the starter just aren't developed yet. Most of the girls who kept it going and baked again this week reported much better results. I baked three loaves today using three different mothers. One did not rise at all and two rose but were a little on the "doughy" side. I used a thermometer and baked to the appropriate temperature. They are very tasty though. Most of us have been experiencing cold temperatures OUTSIDE right now which will also drastically reduce the amount of local yeast in the air. Keep at it! Those that have had great results on the second week. It just needs time to develop!

Marcia - Thanks so much for the recipes!

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
Felt and Fabric Crafts
www.willowartist.etsy.com
www.willowtreecreek.com
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wooliespinner
True Blue Farmgirl

1311 Posts

Linda
Manchester Ohio
1311 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  5:12:04 PM  Show Profile
I had a question.

Why do you not feed the "mother culture" on the day you bake ? And would it hurt to feed it that day since you just took out so much? I just didn't understand this concept and wondered if anyone knew why.

Thanks
Linda

Raspberry Run Farm
Nubian Dairy Goats
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  5:38:15 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Linda- it wouldn't hurt to feed your starter every day. When you follow MaryJane's method, her recipes call for 2 cups starter. So buy feeding for 6 days at 1/3 cup volume each day (per her instructions) You have two cups of "extra" starter by each Saturday or seventh day baking (following MaryJane's schedule, Saturday is the 7th day, but some like me started on a different day). By following this schedule you will always have the same amount of base starter after you have baked. If you feed everyday you will, over time, increase the amount of your starter base. This can be helpful if you want to work up to baking more each week, sharing with friends every couple of months etc.

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
Please come visit Nora and me on our blog: www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com

Edited by - Alee on Jan 25 2009 5:39:25 PM
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  5:38:21 PM  Show Profile
Hmmm Linda. I'm not sure! Let me look into that. Maybe Ronna will know. Shes done a lot of reading on sourdough.

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  5:40:01 PM  Show Profile
Thanks Alee!

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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K-Falls Farmgirl
Chapter Leader

2096 Posts

Cheryl
Klamath Falls Oregon
USA
2096 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  6:05:13 PM  Show Profile


This is what I did with the leftover first flat sourdough bread. It had great flavor just didn't rise. So I made seasoned croutons

http://www.k-fallsfarmgirl.blogspot.com/
Come visit the barn at http://barndoorcreations.blogspot.com/
Cheryl
Farmgirl #309
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." Maya Angelou

Edited by - K-Falls Farmgirl on Jan 25 2009 6:06:05 PM
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  6:59:01 PM  Show Profile
Great idea cheryl! There are lots of methods but here is a quick and easy way to make croutons.

Preheat oven to 300.
Slice and cube your bread. For 4 cups of bread crumbs you will need about 3/4 of a stick of melted butter or about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Mix in your favorite spices such as garlic or onion powder, basil,oregano etc. and stir. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and toss until they are well coated. Spread the cubes onto a baking sheet. Place in the oven, stirring occasionally until they are brown and crunchy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and they will last quite a while.

I have also cooked mine in a skillet before when I needed them in a hurry. Just watch careful so they don't burn.

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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Ronna
True Blue Farmgirl

1891 Posts

Ronna
Fernley NV
USA
1891 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2009 :  11:00:50 PM  Show Profile
Linda, keep it simple...after you use the starter, feed it to replenish what you've taken out. You don't want to forget and next time you want to use it, you don't have enough to use and also set aside for the next baking.
Yes, I've read a lot of bread baking books over the years, but nothing can replace first hand knowledge of actually baking it, which I've done for 50 years. From being on several online bread lists, I think I've read of just about every scenario possible. Practice makes perfect, isn't that what the teachers say?
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Quintessential Kate
True Blue Farmgirl

175 Posts

Kate
Tyler TX
USA
175 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  06:04:50 AM  Show Profile
I have to whole heartedly agree with Ronna about the KIS....Keep It Simple. This bread making time should be a JOY! I am new to the process myself, but we have some very knowledgable ladies here on our forum.

What I have gleaned is this...
The collecting of/ build up of yeast is going to be different for all of us. I KNOW that it is collecting slowly here in my house. I think due to several reasons...one being that right after Thanksgiving I became very sick with pneumonia and was on some very UGLY and heavy duty antibiotics (and it had been years since I had taken an antibiotic.....usually I refuse to take them...but this was a matter of take them or you'll end up in the hospital or dead. Anyway you look at it, it was a bitter pill to swallow....and yes, maybe a pun was intended). And then almost three weeks ago I was having a simple procedure...cervical spine selective epidural at one of our premiere hospitals..and upon returning to recovery the nurse lowered the gurney and my left ring finger was almost amputated ( mind you, I was sedated for the procedure, not completely out but sedate)......so I was put on a 7 day course of antibiotics.) Anyway,I guess my point is that even though I was consuming the antibiotics, I imagine my body is releasing the "overkill". I am convinced in my little pea brain that this has had an affect on the yeast in my home.

Secondly, I keep my house on the cool side....because of the dreaded hot flashes...but for the life of me I don't know why!!! It can be 32 degrees outside...me standing out there in my jammies....and I'll break out into a sweat. I know it is a passing thing.....but COME ON!!!

And last, but not least, since moving to East Texas from Arizona, both my hubby and I have been plagued with allergies....so when we renovated our sweet little house we put in a heavy duty air purifier on the new central heat and air system we installed. Electrostatic....sounds like a bug zapper. ( I love the fact that I have much less dusting to do....)

So here are some of my remedies.....
"Ma", my start, sits on top of my refrigerator where it's always a little warm.
I have turned off the air purifier for a while.
On pretty days.......like last Thursday and Friday which were in the mid to upper 70's, I opened windows...which is a normal activity for me.
And I think because I have been drinking not only Kombucha, but taking a pro-biotic, I have gotten my body back in a good place. ( Mind you, all of this is MY reasoning.....nothing scientific).

So here are my suggestions...
If your start is starting out a bit slow.......try Ronna's San Francisco Style Sourdough recipe for your first batch. And then on your second batch/week, use the no added yeast / no knead recipe that originally started this. I KNOW that my start has already grabbed more yeast....just by the way it looks and smells. So on Friday, which is my bake day (I am a bit behind a lot of you...and actually mixed up my start on a Saturday) I will make my first loaf of no knead per MaryJanes recipe....and I know it's gonna be GREAT!
Thanks for listening to me......
Ciao ladies,
Kate

Heart of Texas
Chapter
AKA: Hot Farmgirl #234
http://quintessentialkate.blogspot.com

Today is my best day!
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janiee
True Blue Farmgirl

817 Posts

Janie
Waco Texas
USA
817 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  06:54:52 AM  Show Profile
Just wanted to report that I made my first loaf of bread this past Saturday and it turned out really good! Did not rise as much as I thought it would but the flavor was wonderful! my husband and i ate almost all of it as soon as it came out of the oven! In fact, he has now begun his own "mother" with a much larger amounts (as per the magazine) because he wants more bread on Saturdays...
janiee
farmgirl #390
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  08:26:25 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
That is great Janie!

I gave Nora one of my sour dough rolls this morning and she was running around with it taking big bites out of it. :D That makes a mom happy. Good fresh food and a kid that eats it!

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
Please come visit Nora and me on our blog: www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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gardenmaam
Farmgirl in Training

27 Posts

Cathy
Moreno Valley CA
USA
27 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  11:01:03 AM  Show Profile  Send gardenmaam a Yahoo! Message
Help welcome from anyone who has made the Mother ---
I have started the batch of MOTHER today (Mon). I notice that in the first part of the recipe it says on p. 67 to cover the Mother initially with a wet dishtowell. But later in the article it states to leave it covered with dry towell for the first week to breathe. After a week use the damp dishtowell with a plate on top of the towell and bowl. So, am a little unsure on how to start it today - the first day. Wet or dry towell? Any suggestions...or does it not matter.
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AuntPammy
True Blue Farmgirl

488 Posts

Pamila
williamstown wv
USA
488 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  11:22:39 AM  Show Profile  Click to see AuntPammy's MSN Messenger address
I think you are suppose to use a dry towel at the onset to allow mother to breathe.

I am soooo excited about this new project, I posted a couple of pictures on my blog to show the bubbling action I am getting. I have to admit that I am using new flour and spring water with mine and the results are amazing!

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow." Helen Keller

www.auntpsalmostheaven.blogspot.com
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  11:32:05 AM  Show Profile
Pam is right! It was a misprint. Dry towel for the first week!

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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pearlgirl
Farmgirl in Training

14 Posts

Lydia
Holland MI
USA
14 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  12:16:50 PM  Show Profile
Oh, I am so glad to finally join this discussion!

I have tried sourdough only once before, using the method from the book Wild Fermentation by Katz. It was a complete failure. Looking back now I think if I had given it more time it may have worked, I only gave it four days and then made a great doorstop that I had let "rise" 24 hours, since that was what the book suggested.

Well, I was quite excited to find this method in the recent magazine and as soon as I could get the og flour and distilled water I started mother. That was Friday and I have been reading on here ever since trying to learn from everybody's successes and failures. From what I figued out I should probably just use my starter for pancakes this first week since our house is very cold here in West Michigan. I did put it in a warm kitchen cabinet though to keep it free from drafts and warm.

Now next week I hope to make the cinnamon raisin bread and I was wondering if I could use a 1 quart Pyrex dish or my little brown "bean pot" (it is meant for baked beans)to bake the loaf in. Below is a picture of both and I would appreciate some input. I also have a cast iron chicken fryer but I am afraid it is too wide to give it the upward motion it needs.




Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Pro 31:30,31

http://pearlsgleanings.blogspot.com/
http://www.pearlgirl901.etsy.com/
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  12:23:03 PM  Show Profile
Lydia - I would suggest that you follow the parchment paper methond MaryJane suggested if you use eaither of those vessels. Someone tried an enameled cast iron dutch oven and mentioned it sticking. I think that is the major concern with those. Just use oiled parchment.

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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Firemama
True Blue Farmgirl

1731 Posts

Amanda
Medical Lake WA
USA
1731 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  5:49:15 PM  Show Profile  Send Firemama a Yahoo! Message
Made my first loaf today,it turned out very dense and didnt rise alot, but it still tastes dang good!!

Mama to 2
FarmGirl# 20

People can only make you feel inferior with your permission, and you dont have my permission......

Dont let the chain of love end with you.....

http://myfarmdreams.blogspot.com/

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Pearlsnjeans
True Blue Farmgirl

246 Posts

Vicki
West Haven Utah
USA
246 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2009 :  7:35:20 PM  Show Profile
Made my first loaf last Saturday. It didn't rise much and was a bit doughy inside. However, the flavor was good. After reading all the information, I think my house may be too cold. I keep it at 68 degrees when I'm home, but the heat goes down to 60 degrees during the day. Not giving up - will try again this coming Saturday!

Vicki
Farmgirl Sister #120
Today well lived makes every yesterday a memory of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
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Ingrid
True Blue Farmgirl

427 Posts

Ingrid
BC
Canada
427 Posts

Posted - Jan 27 2009 :  09:12:30 AM  Show Profile
I started the mother just after new years and followed all the instructions and it bubbled nicely and smelled great. I made a loaf of bread, it looked the way it was supposed to, I baked it on a baking stone, the outside turned out nice but when I cut into it the inside was completely raw. I bake regular bread once a week and have for years so not sure how to correct this. Have been playing with oven temperature and length of time baking and still no luck. Am having the same problem. Anyone out there have any suggestions?
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chessie
True Blue Farmgirl

403 Posts

Karen
Vista CA
USA
403 Posts

Posted - Jan 27 2009 :  09:41:14 AM  Show Profile
Ingrid, did you use an instant read thermometer to take the inside temp before determining it was done?

www.edgehillherbfarm.com "where the name is bigger than the farm, but no one seems to mind"
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