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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 23 2009 :  6:37:42 PM  Show Profile
Okay lets see if I can respond without missing anybody!

Melissa - It sounds like your new starter is of to a good start!

Debra - Glad you had some success! Keep it up!

Donna - the hooch isn't "bad" but you can minimize it by doing double feedings. Either feed twice a day or twice as much once a day.
If your bread is good on the inside but too hard on the top try brushing the top with butter right after you take it out of the oven. This will give you a softer crust.

Jenny - as some others mentioned it is best to use the white flour in the starter and save the wheat for when you mix up your dough recipes. It has something to do with the glutens in the flour.

Elizabeth - I am working on organizing all the recipes that have been posted in a more user friendly manner. Check back and I'll try to keep you posted.

Kristin - as long as your starter is healthy you can probably substitute the new flour right in.

Kathy - sorry it didn't work out for you! I wish I could come up there and help you work it out! MAybe when the weather gets warmer!

MaryJane - those loaves look fabulous!!! Where did you order that baguette pan? I have to have one!!!

Audry - Good luck tomorrow!

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

659 Posts

suzanne
duncannon pa
USA
659 Posts

Posted - Feb 23 2009 :  6:55:15 PM  Show Profile
Julie, Thanks for all your assistance and hard work here!
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mimilou
Farmgirl in Training

13 Posts

Mary Lou
Lancaster PA
USA
13 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2009 :  03:17:16 AM  Show Profile

My mother is now 2 weeks old. I have followed the directions to a T. Using Arrowhead Mills organic unbleached (that's all I could find), distilled water, ceramic bowl, wooden spoon, etc. I feed my mother in the a.m. and keep her on my stove. I now give her a stir when I come home from work - she gets all bubbly and that makes me happy!
The first week I followed the suggestions and made the pancakes - they were wonderful, the batter got bubbly and...success. Second week, I readied my 2 qt. Lodge dutch oven, prepared the recipe for the basic white - again followed the directions to a T. Plopped the dough in the dutch oven and put it in my microwave above my range - I had the lights on underneath which created heat inside the microwave - it was the perfect place. The dough rose perfectly - I actually baked it after approx. 5 hours of letting it rise. Used the instant read thermometer at about 15 minutes - as the top was getting brown - but NO, it wasn't done, so I waited another 5-10 minutes - and BINGO - 190 degrees. Pulled it out and it was PERFECT! I could not butter the pieces fast enough - everyone was gobbling it up.
Needless to say - it was a proud moment!!
One small issue I had the first week was the skin that formed - most days i just pulled it off, rather than stir it in. Our house is dry so I make sure that per the directions, I wet my towel (every a.m.) when I feed my mother.
This week I hope to make the date/nut bread.
I've been copying all the recipes as they come along and have them in a folder.
This makes a great little loaf of bread. Enjoy.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2009 :  04:37:19 AM  Show Profile
Mary Lou I am so glad you had such sucess!!!! If your starter continues to get a skin you may try wetting your towel in the evening as well! Great job!

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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olive610
Farmgirl in Training

40 Posts

Mary-Alice
Missouri City TX
USA
40 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2009 :  06:32:59 AM  Show Profile
Kathy, I am with you. I don't mean to be a poor sport either but my bread this week was awful. This was week 3 and I had a very flat very sour loaf. It was awful.

It was very discouraging having to feed mother every day and lovingly caring for her. Then she turned around and did that to me. Week 2 I had a beautiful loaf but this one was inedible. Mother got dumped down the kitchen disposal. Maybe I will try again when it gets warmer.

Right now I have my old faithful Herman starter in the fridge.



"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." Danny Kaye
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2009 :  07:27:58 AM  Show Profile
Mary-Alice I am sorry that you had a dissapointing experience. If you try it again I wish you much success.

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

312 Posts

Erin
Nebraska
USA
312 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2009 :  1:03:22 PM  Show Profile
I didn't get to baking my bread this last weekend. So I'm still just adding the flour & water like the instructions say to. Is this a bad idea? I know I'll be baking quite a bit this weekend. So I just figured I'd have enough for extra loaves.

Erin

P.S. Can you make dog biscuits using your "mother"?

Farmgirl #190
www.concrete-and-grace.blogspot.com
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Sandra K. Licher
True Blue Farmgirl

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2009 :  1:55:41 PM  Show Profile
Mary Jane....LOVE the baguettes! Where did you get the double pan for them? $13.00...that sounds pretty reasonable! Were they new? Your "mother" must be a Doozie! Those were pretty flat when you rolled them out and boy did they ever turn out nice. I'm stuffing my face with peanut butter cookies becuase I don't have any bread YET to eat! But, this last week it was Julie's pancakes and this week will be Ronna's SF French bread and next week Mary Jane's Farmhouse bread! I am working "Lizzie" up to it....I don't want to rush her! I talk to her and feed her and encourage her with little "pep" talks so hopefully that will help! I honor all living things and she is living and bubbling away!
Keep your fingers crossed! How old is your starter by the way? Years and years? I wonder how old the oldest starter is and if some are still around (descendants of course) from the "old days"...as in My youth as my children like to tell me. I'd be curious to know that one!
Thanks so much for you and Julie's advice, pictures, recipes and cheer leading!

Sam in AR..... "It's a great life if you don't weaken!"
Farmgirl Sister #226

www.farmgirlsam.blogspot.com
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FarmGirl~K
True Blue Farmgirl

512 Posts

Kelly
TX
USA
512 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2009 :  10:32:06 PM  Show Profile
Well I came home today to big disappointment. Week 2 of feeding my mother. Had fuzzy mold growing on the side of the bowl. It wasn't touching the starter, but I didnt want to chance it so I am throwing it away again.

Only thing I did different this week was moisten the towel & put on a plate propped open a bit per the instructions in the mag. I always scrape down the sides, everything comes off but a bit that is like glue. But that pretty much has been dry. I haven't had a problem w/a crust forming on top, do I have to wet the towel & put on a plate? Just wondering if it was too moist w/the wet towel.

I was so looking forward to making bread this week too!

"I have an irrepressible desire to live till I can be assured that the world is a little better for my having lived in it."
– Abraham Lincoln
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Deni
Farmgirl in Training

19 Posts

Deni
Columbia MO
USA
19 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  07:17:26 AM  Show Profile
Well, Kelly - I may be sorry, but I found that same fuzzy grey stuff on the side of my bowl a couple of days ago. I carefully wiped it off with a damp paper towel and transferred (with a spoon - so I didn't run Mother through the moldy spots) into a clean bowl. She seems fine. The moldy bowl was my original. It had gotten to the point where there were places that wouldn't scrape down. I think MJ recommends changing bowls every month or so, anyway.

I figure what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. We'll see. My point is, I don't think you did anything wrong (or if you did, I did too!;) It's the nature of the beastie to grow yeastie. Don't feel bad --

Your fellow mold grower, Deni



sunshinedreamkitchen.blogspot.com
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  07:20:05 AM  Show Profile
Erin - I did the same with one of my starters and didn't have a problem. I think you should be good! I will work on a Dog Biscuit recipe!

Kelly - It will depend on the humidity in your house. If you have a lot of moisture you probably wouldn't need to constantly wet the towel. I have't had any mold growing on mine and I believe mine are going on 6 weeks old. I change my bowl every 2 weeks.

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

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  07:46:30 AM  Show Profile
Oh...dog biscuits!!! GREAT!!! I was just going to start making my own anyway. It never dawned on me to use the starter for that! I have made my own before but usually just for special occassions but I don't like the dyes and recalls on animal food of any kind so whatever I can do to feed "purely"! Thanks, Julie!

Sam in AR..... "It's a great life if you don't weaken!"
Farmgirl Sister #226

www.farmgirlsam.blogspot.com
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  08:13:48 AM  Show Profile
Okay I took a dog biscuit recipe I've made before and adapted it a little.

I HAVE NOT TESTED THIS VERSION OF THE RECIPE YET! But since you all were interested I though I would post it anyway. I will test it this weekend and post some pictures. If YOU try it, let me know what you think.


Sourdough Dog Treats

1 Cup Starter
1/2 C. Pureed Pumpkin (Or 2 smalls jars of any babyfood)
2 eggs
1/4 C. Peanut Butter
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 Tbs. Bacon Drippings (Or 1 beef bullion cube disolved in 2 Tbs. of water)
1 Cup Oats (Quick or oldfashioned)
2 1/2 C. Whole Wheat Flour

Note: This will be a fairly dry dough! I would suggest adding the last half cup of flour about a Tbs. at a time until you get a workable consistancy.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a handle. Stir until well mixed. You may need to mix by hand at the end to get it all combined.

Roll out dough and use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes. You can also just cut log or nugget shapes suitable to your dogs size if you prefer.

Place onto a cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Flip the biscuits over and bake an additional 20 minutes. Turn off the heat to the oven leaving the biscuits inside until the oven has cooled completely.

The biscuits are now ready to serve to your doggie. Let the rest airdry until hard and crisp before storing in an airtight container. If allowed to dry completely the biscuits COULD last about a month or so.

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

512 Posts

Kelly
TX
USA
512 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  09:08:03 AM  Show Profile
Well I'm so glad I havent thrown it away yet. I fell asleep early last night before messing with it. I will transfer it to another bowl & see how it goes. I just wanted to make sure no mold got into the mother. If you both did that & all seems fine I should be too right! I also won't be adding the wet towel back on unless I see it start to dry out. Thanks girls again for your help!

"I have an irrepressible desire to live till I can be assured that the world is a little better for my having lived in it."
– Abraham Lincoln
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acairnsmom
True Blue Farmgirl

1319 Posts

audrey
cheyenne wy
1319 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  11:14:40 AM  Show Profile
Yippee! My first baking day was an overall success! DH is back working in "Alee country" so I'm a party of one right now and didn't feel like fixing that many pancakes. I halved the recipe and with the other half I made a wee loaf of the Farmhouse White. It didn't raise a whole lot but enough that it was recognizable as bread. I halved the recipe for the bread but still didn't add all the extra flour. "Ruby" was pretty stiff to begin with so felt I'd be safe not putting it all in (didn't want the bricks like some have reported). I was very pleased with the results.

The pancakes were also very yummy! I'm tickled pink that everything came out so well. I believe I'll be slowly doubling "Ruby" so I can make some of the other delicious recipes you all have posted.

Audrey

Toto, we're not in Kansas any more!

Edited by - acairnsmom on Feb 25 2009 11:15:20 AM
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Calicogirl
True Blue Farmgirl

5176 Posts

Sharon
Bruce Crossing Michigan
USA
5176 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  12:58:06 PM  Show Profile
I made my starter Sunday! I am excited, it smells really nice. The only thing is it is pretty dry here with a wood stove so I switched to the wet cloth earlier so the starter doesn't get a thick skin.

~Sharon

By His Grace, For His Glory

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Quintessential Kate
True Blue Farmgirl

175 Posts

Kate
Tyler TX
USA
175 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  1:29:03 PM  Show Profile
Julie,
Thanks for the Doggie Treat recipe. My schnauzer girls love C-O-O-K-I-E-S!!!! They both get one treat every evening.......and I think they're going to love these.
Thanks again,
Kate

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

Today is my best day!
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  3:11:12 PM  Show Profile
Kate I am defrosting some of the pumpkin I put up this fall so I can make these later tonight! I'll take some pictures to post later.

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

11303 Posts

kristin
chickamauga ga
USA
11303 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  7:33:42 PM  Show Profile
The pecan date bread is GOOD!

Kris

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. Maori proverb
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  8:07:25 PM  Show Profile
Kristin I had some leftover cream cheese frosting from my carrot cake and spread that on a slice and it was SO good.

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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Sewsmartie
Farmgirl at Heart

7 Posts

Martie

7 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  8:20:01 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by willowtreecreek

Mary-Alice I am sorry that you had a dissapointing experience. If you try it again I wish you much success.

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




Sewsmartie
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Sewsmartie
Farmgirl at Heart

7 Posts

Martie

7 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  8:23:54 PM  Show Profile
I, too, followed the instructions to a T. I made the 2 grapefruit-sized "water balls" and scored the top. Allowed them to rise almost 8 hours. However, they spread, but were only 1-1/2" high. What is the problem?

I will try again this week, but may just need to go back to the packaged yeast. What a disappointment!

Martie

Sewsmartie
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prariehawk
True Blue Farmgirl

2914 Posts

Cindy

2914 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  9:11:18 PM  Show Profile
Oops--I made bread tonight and forgot to add honey or salt--but it turned out great anyway! Just perfect for slathering on the butter! I'm going to start over again with my mother cause I also found some mold growing on the side of the bowl--so I carefully transferred it to another bowl and used it all up. I think there was too much moisture with it being covered with a damp towel--had better success with a dry towel. Then again, I've been using tap water to moisten the towel--maybe I should switch to purified water for the towel--I use purified water for the mother--has anyone else who's been having problems with mold been using plain tap water for the towel? Could it really make that big a difference? Maybe I should invest in faucet-mounted purifier--they're a little pricey, but if it makes that big a difference...
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gardenmaam
Farmgirl in Training

27 Posts

Cathy
Moreno Valley CA
USA
27 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2009 :  10:10:26 PM  Show Profile  Send gardenmaam a Yahoo! Message
Prariehawk~
I've been watching my Mother to see if she is going to get mold or not. I was using purified water diligently since I started this a month ago. Last week I used tap water for a couple of days on the towell only, and then I noticed days later that the top looks a little puffy and had a stronger smell other than yeast. Pulled that top off.
So...am watching it to see what happens. But definately switched to ONLY purified water for me. Also, I ran out of King Arthur flour at about that time and started using Gold Medal till I could find more KA flour.
Maybe the combo of those two things started a potential problem?? Will see what happens.
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Jennie From Maine
Farmgirl in Training

12 Posts

Jennifer
Monmouth Maine
USA
12 Posts

Posted - Feb 26 2009 :  05:39:20 AM  Show Profile
That's awesome, I can't wait to try making some. Those rustic loaves looked amazing!
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