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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - Mar 02 2009 :  10:56:22 AM  Show Profile
Julie thanks for putting that out....I'm going to do the other recipes....well I tried with the new starter and no rise....must be me...I don't know....put it in a very warm room..I even turn up the heat more in the house....my husband has been walking around in a tank top and shorts. So I know its not cold in the house. Since I didn't get a rise I just went ahead and made bread sticks for spaghetti this week...they were good. I just wanted to be able to make the simple farm house bread but I look forward to trying the other recipes. Gail that was a cute story!
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kristin sherrill
True Blue Farmgirl

11303 Posts

kristin
chickamauga ga
USA
11303 Posts

Posted - Mar 02 2009 :  6:44:21 PM  Show Profile
Well, I have a new favorite. I made the garlic-olive loaf and it is SO good! I love it. The flavor is amazing. I used kalamte (?) olives and the rosemary just sets it off. Very easy to make, too.

And thanks, Julie, for putting up all the recipes. I was writing down page numbers and I am not organized at all, so they are all over the place. So now I have them all on one page up on my bulletin board so I can add more when you creative cooks come up with more great recipes.

Kris

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. Maori proverb
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Teacher Mommy
Farmgirl at Heart

7 Posts

Linda
Santa Cruz CA
USA
7 Posts

Posted - Mar 02 2009 :  8:46:21 PM  Show Profile
Uhgg... I got a mean flu virus this past Thursday and have been in bed asleep seemingly days on end! On the upside, my husband actually cleaned the whole house... first time in 20 years, I think. On the downside, I have neglected my starter for 4 days. I just looked the bowl when I was cooking this evening and the crusty stuff around the edge of the rim is moldy! Also, the starter had a rubbery crust on top. I though I might start again and went to toss the whole thing down the drain feeling that awful "flushing the goldfish down the drain" queasiness, when I got a good look at the actual core of the starter. It looks as it always has and smells like the same sweet and sour stuff. Do you think it is OK? I washed the bowl and am planning to replace what I saved of the old starter. I could make bread tomorrow since I am a bit better.

This does beg the question though... is it ever too old? Does a starter go bad and what are the signs? What happens if I DON'T make bread one weekend?
Linda
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Sandra K. Licher
True Blue Farmgirl

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  06:29:58 AM  Show Profile
I think you can store it in the frig and/or take out the amount you're supposed to use and freeze it to use later or give away but confirm this with Julie or MJ because I am DEFINITELY no expert! Or Ronna...she's been doing this for a long time but I haven't seen her post on this thread for awhile. Where are you Ronna? You were such a great mentor along with Julie and Mary Jane....Ronna...you know it takes a village to "raise" a starter! LOL!
GLad you're feeling better Linda! Are you a REAL teacher? My daughter is too and even after teaching for 3-5 years now she still catches the stuff from the kids. They are little germ carriers they are! Julie's a teacher too!

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

www.farmgirlsam.blogspot.com
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  2:19:29 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Hi ones all, just another new member to the group. I found the magazine by accident last weekend at a Tractor Supply store when I stopped to see what they had for garden seeds. Just had to try doing the starter! I'm not a big chef and really haven't worked with yeast before so it is all a big trial and error to help pass the end of the winter months away.

I have be reading the forum and enjoying what everyone brings to the conversation. My mother starter is only on day 3, so still has a way to go. While reading I see that some of you have many of the same questions that I do about the starter, so I was doing a bit of research on the internet. King Arthur has some wonderful tips on their web pages for all things sourdough. They have recipes too. For the great tips and how to on storage and working with starter go to their education section and then select on the left side of the page the link to baking tips and primers. It is well written and answered a lot of my questions, so hope that someone else will enjoy. There are also tons of other sites out there that are worth reading and probably tons of books at your local library so I guess we'll all keep learning and sharing. I'm not as brave as some of you are when it comes to experiments in the kitchen, but I do so love to read of your success and tips.

lupine

www.myspace.com/lupinelady99

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Calicogirl
True Blue Farmgirl

5176 Posts

Sharon
Bruce Crossing Michigan
USA
5176 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  2:32:16 PM  Show Profile
Could I ask for help?

This is week 2 for my starter. I baked Saturday and Sunday started doubling the flour and water added. Do I need to wait until this next coming Saturday to bake or can I use some starter now. I thought that Alee had posted something about using it twice but I went back about 20 pages and couldn't find it. My starter is doing much better this week and even more bubbly :)

I would appreciate any advice!

~Sharon

By His Grace, For His Glory
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  2:46:28 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
One other thing I wanted to ask of our more experienced bread bakers...I see a number of posts remarking that the bread was tough or hard (some very memorable descriptions that made me smile). Looking around at other bread baking information I see that some people add vital wheat gluten and or bread enhancers to recipes to improve the recipe results. Just wondering if anyone had tried this or had any further information.

From what I am reading these products are supposed to help improve the rise and texture of the bread, especially with whole wheat flours.

lupine
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gentlewoman farmer
True Blue Farmgirl

66 Posts

Judy
Bakersfield Ca
USA
66 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  2:52:33 PM  Show Profile
I don't know for sure, it seems that it took only 1 week to be ready. I have to wear plastic gloves when I make bread, any kind of bread. Once any part of my hands or arms touch the dough, something seems to kill the yeast or baking powder. Mother--n-law didn't believe me, so we did bread together, and mine didnt rise, but hers was doubled in size and puffy. I wear gloves when I take the biscuts out of the can.

Be good to yourself and be good to this earth.
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Catopia
Farmgirl in Training

17 Posts

Erin
Richland WA
USA
17 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  3:24:15 PM  Show Profile
I am so excited to start making bread this way, I can hardly wait!!
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gramadinah
True Blue Farmgirl

3455 Posts

Diana
Orofino ID
USA
3455 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  3:32:26 PM  Show Profile
I want to put my starter on hold for awhile so do I bake bread then feed then put in the fridge. Or just put it in the fridge and when do I feed it while it is in the fridge?

Diana


Farmgirl Sister #273
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Sandra K. Licher
True Blue Farmgirl

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  3:46:53 PM  Show Profile
Welcome Lisa!!! Thank you for telling us about the other sites. I didn't even think to look elsewhere....maybe sometimes we have to go outside and "walk about" to discover new methods and tips! I hope we see you posting lots more! I think you'll like it here...these women are fabulous and so helpful.

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

www.farmgirlsam.blogspot.com
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Ronna
True Blue Farmgirl

1891 Posts

Ronna
Fernley NV
USA
1891 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  3:47:26 PM  Show Profile
I'm here, just trying to not confuse anyone with conflicting advise or opinions. More than happy to help when I can.
Diana, just put the starter in the fridge in a closed container and it will be fine until you want to use it again. At least I know what came from here is very hearty and forgiving even when it's neglected.
As to enhancers...mixed feelings on that by those who bake bread all the time. A tiny pinch of ginger will kick start rising, as will the same of ascorbic acid/Vitamin C. Vital wheat gluten is a help, but not if you're doing MaryJane's no knead bread, as you aren't developing gluten with kneading.
None of the above are used to any extent with sourdough, though nothing is writeen in stone and anything can be tried to see if you like the results.
No, starter does not go bad, there are some making rounds that are from the 1800's. No mold problems in Nevada, too dry here, but if mine were to get mold around the edges, I would try to salvage a spoonful from the center and feel very small amounts to get back to a useable amount. If it molds again in the process, I'd not take any chances. Black, pink and red are bad signs of contamination in your starter. Once you get a good one going, dry some in case of future problems. When I change the container, I let the residue dry completely and save it in a ziploc. I prefer to share mine wet, but would be easier and cheaper to mail in the dry form.
Hope I've helped a bit with your questions.
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Sandra K. Licher
True Blue Farmgirl

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  4:00:41 PM  Show Profile
Oh, Ronna! Good to hear from you! So glad you're still around....remember, it's takes a village to raise a starter! Thanks for all your contributions....did you see where I made your SF Sourdough? I messed it up by putting both loaves on the same cookie sheet and ended up with siamese loaves but other than that it was delicious! Next week...week #3 I am trying MJ's farmhouse bread but think I'll go looking for a container first. Really good to see you back here...you were missed!

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

www.farmgirlsam.blogspot.com
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Bellepepper
True Blue Farmgirl

1207 Posts

Belle
Coffeyville KS
USA
1207 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  4:03:39 PM  Show Profile
Finally found some organic flour. Had to make a run to Missouri so I could buy some KS milled flour. I have my favorite for making bread. The store had organic also but from Indiana not Kansas. You should have heard the people in the store asking why I was buying so much flour. 20 lb unbleached white, 20 lb whole wheat and 5 lb organic along with some stone ground corn meal. I said all that to say I am ready to start my "mother". But will wait until Sunday. Gonna be good!!
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  5:13:35 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Thanks for the wonderful welcome and the answers to my questions. I think that the draw to working with "mother" and the bread is that it isn't an exact science and a bit more like gardening. Centuries of wisdom, the support of a good group, and the unique results that each of us get in our work just makes it so much more fun. No mass production here!

I am getting the feeling that the process of working with a starter is very free-form and really an art form. It seems to take a sense of adventure and a carefree lack of fear to succeed. We will all tweak and perfect methods and wisdom we get from each other to make our results better just as generations before us did. Can't wait to start trying some baking! Mother is bubbling away down in the kitchen.

To some of you that wondered about temperature. My home is kept at about 58 to 60 degrees with central heating during the winter months. My house is old and not perfectly airtight either. However, the starter seems to be fairing out just fine at this temperature. I have been using a slightly damp towel over my bowl because the house is quite dry this time of year. Once the furnace isn't running so much, I'll probably wean it off that to a dry covering or the refrigerator. The temperature may become more of a concern once I get to the baking stage and need to have the dough rise. I'll let you know how that works out. My friend suggested that I put my bread into the oven to rise (with the power off) and put a bowl of warm water under it if the cold seemed to be a problem.
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GailMN
True Blue Farmgirl

222 Posts

Gail
Hutchinson Minnesota
USA
222 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  5:31:53 PM  Show Profile  Send GailMN a Yahoo! Message
OK Ronna I am really a newbie to sourdough. Your hint about saving some dry starter is very good advice. I am on week two with Mother and all looks good so far, I am feeding double for a few days to boost the amount I can use on Saturday - my first loaf disappeared way too fast. I too am having problems locating flour - going to a food coop in a neighboring town this weekend, hopefully I will have luck there. Thanks to everyone for all the tips. Happy Baking.

Gail


Farmgirl Sister #506
A Smile a Day . . .
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Calicogirl
True Blue Farmgirl

5176 Posts

Sharon
Bruce Crossing Michigan
USA
5176 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  6:05:59 PM  Show Profile
I'm reposting, my question I think got overlooked :)

Could I ask for help?

This is week 2 for my starter. I baked Saturday and Sunday started doubling the flour and water added. Do I need to wait until this next coming Saturday to bake or can I use some starter now. I thought that Alee had posted something about using it twice but I went back about 20 pages and couldn't find it. My starter is doing much better this week and even more bubbly :)

I would appreciate any advice!



~Sharon

By His Grace, For His Glory
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Teacher Mommy
Farmgirl at Heart

7 Posts

Linda
Santa Cruz CA
USA
7 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  7:27:32 PM  Show Profile
I posted last night that my starter went untended and unused for about four days and got mold on the edge of the bowl. I thought I could save it by reserving part of it and feeding it again. But, when I woke up this morning. I "peeked under the hood" and saw little blue pockets of mold floating on top... I'm going to go on record saying that mold is a bad sign. It makes sense, since mold is spread by spores, that if you see it anywhere, chances are it's everywhere. Next time I'll know that if I'm unable to care for the starter, I'll just pop it the fridge. However that makes me curious about "Calicogal," Sharon's question, Do I have to feed it in the fridge? Do I do it before?

I think I'll be smarter this time and just make pancakes until the starter matures for a couple weeks.

Hi Sandra! Yes, I am a teacher. I've been teaching kindergarten now for several years, but I have taught a total of 24 years. I'm a third generation teacher and my 8-year-old daughter already says she wants to be a teacher. No joke, she actually tries to remember ways of doing things and projects so she can do them "when she is a teacher!" Teaching must be something that gets in the blood and stays there. I hear farming is the same way! As far as the germs go, your daughter is just about done with the trial by fire years! I got much less sick after 5 years and now I hardly ever get sick.
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Teacher Mommy
Farmgirl at Heart

7 Posts

Linda
Santa Cruz CA
USA
7 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  7:36:06 PM  Show Profile
OOps, sorry! I guess that was Gramadinah's question about feeding in he fridge!
Linda
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  7:39:47 PM  Show Profile
Sharon if you have extra available you ate welcom to use it any day of the week. Just don't forget to give her a day of rest once a week. I'll try to get back with the rest of you tomorrow. I have the flu and have been in bed all day!

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

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  8:51:58 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Sharon- One thing I would like to add is to feed the day before, take out your baking amount, then feed for that day. You want to bake with "hungry" sourdough otherwise your flour to sourdough ratio is mixed up for the recipe.

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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Calicogirl
True Blue Farmgirl

5176 Posts

Sharon
Bruce Crossing Michigan
USA
5176 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  8:57:41 PM  Show Profile
Thank you Julie and Alee!

Julie, I hope you will be feeling better soon! :)

~Sharon

By His Grace, For His Glory
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gramax18
True Blue Farmgirl

106 Posts

Elinor
meeker Colorado
USA
106 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2009 :  9:47:39 PM  Show Profile
Alee, A long time ago you showed us the jar you bought to put your "Mother" in. Well I was on a trip and was able to find an old clear glass cookie jar and it is just right for my starter.
Thanks for the idea. Also my bread is working very well. While I was on the trip I put the starter in the frig and when I got home just took it out the night before I started to feed it again.

Thanks ladies for all of the help.

Elinor
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nin1952
True Blue Farmgirl

268 Posts

Donna
Cedartown GA
USA
268 Posts

Posted - Mar 04 2009 :  1:16:09 PM  Show Profile
HURRAY! I have BREAD today! I have been trying since January 26th. Sallie Mae finally come through. I used the Farmhouse Bread recipe but I tweeked it just a little bit. Instead of honey I added 1 TBL plus 1/4 tsp granulated sugar and I also sifted my flour with the salt added to it. I also broke down and bought a cast iron saucepot. Maybe all of this was unnecessary but it worked. It has a pretty brown top and it tastes great. I can't wait for my husband to get home to try it. (My 10 year old grandson, Cason, Liked it.)(All Smiles!)

Donna
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Sandra K. Licher
True Blue Farmgirl

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Mar 04 2009 :  1:35:04 PM  Show Profile
Donna...you go girl! Your perseverance paid off and you motivated the rest of us to "hang in there"!
Thanks!
Julie.....hope you're feeling better today.

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

www.farmgirlsam.blogspot.com
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