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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2009 :  1:37:45 PM  Show Profile
Julie welcome back to the living lol...sorry to hear about you with the flu. Well maybe the temp. has something to do with it for me at least. Chicago has been in the 60's today and when I came home from work and checked on my "mother" Very bubbly...Yeah...the other day I made the basic biscuits very very good... I was pleased. Man I can't believe a starter for a hundred years..WOW! This weekend I'm trying the other recipes I have doubled the starter so hopefully it will turn out good.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2009 :  5:15:35 PM  Show Profile
Thanks for all your well wishes everyone! I LOVE to eat and considering I ate only 10 saltine crackers over the course of two days is saying something!!! Being a teacher I know I am usually in for one bad buggie every year but this was awful. We have had so many kids out of school with it too. At least I wasn't suffering alone! Heehee. We hit 78 today and the same is expected for tomorrow. That is a wonderful and welcome change! Happy baking to those of you who will be doing so tomorrow.

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

222 Posts

Gail
Hutchinson Minnesota
USA
222 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  07:19:21 AM  Show Profile  Send GailMN a Yahoo! Message
Good Morning! Baking day today, yahoo! I made pancakes this morning - they were fabulous. They looked good, they smelled good, they TASTED good. This is week two for me. I fed "Mother" extra during the week because I wanted to make pancakes and bread. I have a question - how much "Mother" do I need to reserve to keep her going healthy and strong. If I make bread, I will be left with about 3/4 cup of "Mother", is that enough to keep her thriving? I appreciate your help. Thank you.

Gail


Farmgirl Sister #506
A Smile a Day . . .
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Farmers Daughter
True Blue Farmgirl

90 Posts

DiAnn

90 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  07:56:12 AM  Show Profile
First of all thanks to Julie for posting the page numbers of the recipes You have saved all of us a lot of searching time.

Well my mother is almost 3 weeks old now and boy what a difference time does make. I was very happy with her performance before, but now with the weather getting warmer and her kicking it up a notch I know what she really can do.

My first week she was slightly bubbly and kept her own. Never had a smell except for wet flour. When baking day came I had decided to give the recipe on page 13 a try (the one you add yeast to) just because I was afraid if I didn't I would end up with a flat doorstop. Seemed like everyone was having a rising issue on the first week or so. With our house being on the cool side just wanting to give my bread an extra boost. Made 2 free form loves on a stone. Turn out well and was happy with that.

Second week wasn't sure that she was truly ready for the task yet but we were in this together and I was going to do all I could so that she do her job. Followed the Mary Jane recipe. Seemed to me the dough was a little stiff. But didn't add any extra liquid. Put the dough in one of my old metal pans. Don't have a cast iron one. Loved the look of the free form loaves last week, but wanted more lift and height so we could make sandwiches. Placed the bread in the oven covered with a flour sack towel. Placed a pot of boiling water on the bottom rack (this is what I always have done when rising dough-read it in an Amish cookbook some time back) and closed the door. I had done all I could to give her a warm cozy place to do her magic. After about an hour or so. I turned on the light and look through the window, could see just a little pooch under the towel. Something was going on. After 4 hours went back to check and she had pushed up above the sides and was ready to bake. Took the towel off and made slits on the top.( Think I really should have slit the top before rising, because it flattened a bit)While baking I had checked the bread and thought it was done, top was brown and sounded hollow, but when I inserted the thermometer it wasn't ready yet so waited till it reached the right temp.(if I would have taken it out it surly would have had a gummy center.) I did how ever cover with a foil tent cause it was getting brown. Once done I placed on the cooling rack. Within a few minutes my hubby already had the butter on the counter and knife in hand hovering over it. After fussing that we should wait a bit. Well heck we both were enjoying a piece. The loaf ended up high enough to use in the toaster and for sandwiches. I was very pleased.

I will bake for the third time tomorrow. Since I stated my starter on a Monday I am off the magazine schedule. I plan to make the Mary Jane recipe again this week. And will start to double my feedings in order to try some of those wonderful recipes you all have shared. Ever since I seen the pictures of the pizza I haven't been able to get that out of my head PIZZA CRUST! Will be doing that soon.

Thanks again to everyone. By sharing your experiences and mishap along the way it has really help keep all of us going. We can never give up on our mothers. Heck if we did what would we talk about?

Happy Baking to all~ DiAnn
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Deni
Farmgirl in Training

19 Posts

Deni
Columbia MO
USA
19 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  11:34:39 AM  Show Profile
Good to know you're better Julie! Being sick is the pits.

I decided to try some rosemary foccacia to go with split pea soup today. My friend, Jeanie, said I should punch down the dough before forming into loaves - that, and the addition of olive oil, are this week's experiments.

The sky is threatening but the temperature amazing. Yay Spring!



sunshinedreamkitchen.blogspot.com
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Ronna
True Blue Farmgirl

1891 Posts

Ronna
Fernley NV
USA
1891 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  1:13:35 PM  Show Profile
quote from another list on Italian breads not having salt.

statement on Italian breads often lacking
salt, there is a very interesting story behind their being salt
less. In Umbria and Tuscany (regions of current Italy) salt is left
out of most breads traditionally. It has nothing to do with how it
is eaten or with what foods. Rather the salt was left out in protest
of the taxation of salt by the Pope (one of the "Urbans" but I cannot
remember now which one). There was a very stiff tax on salt. The
tax was collected to reduce the debt of the Vatican which at the time
was involved in wars. So you see, the lack of salt was sort of like
our Boston Tea Party. It was an early form of tax protest.
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Sandra K. Licher
True Blue Farmgirl

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  3:00:28 PM  Show Profile
Hi Ronna! Good to hear that! If the economy gets any worse I may have to leave out the salt too....and the flour, and the water...LOL! My bread is "rising" I hope. I made MJ's Farmhouse bread today. Boy, that is easy to prepare for sure! I put it in a clay bread pan that I soaked in water for 10 minutes then buttered then put parchment paper in. I hope I covered all the bases. I am still holding out for finding a cast iron saucepan with a lid at a thrift store or garage sale...I know "good luck"! I put the bread in the oven to rise with a pan of hot water underneath it. I have no oven light...well, I do but I can't figure out how to get to it and it is burnt out. I was late getting my bread made up because I had to go to the thrift this morning with a friend so I may be up late tonight. It went in at 3:15 so hopefully I can bake it at 9:15 or else 11:15. Good luck to all who are baking 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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mimilou
Farmgirl in Training

13 Posts

Mary Lou
Lancaster PA
USA
13 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  3:19:02 PM  Show Profile
I made the cinnamon raisin bread today and it was fantastic! I think as more people find out that Saturday is bread day - I may have more & more people showing up...

I would like to bake twice a week. Can I add extra to my existing mother and, if so, what's the proper procedure. Thanks in advance!

This is such a great project with very little effort - amazing!!
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kristin sherrill
True Blue Farmgirl

11303 Posts

kristin
chickamauga ga
USA
11303 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  4:17:09 PM  Show Profile
I made the dog treats the other day. They seem to like them. But they are a little too hard for the 2 that are almost 12. I think they need a softer biscuit type for their old teeth now. But the 2 year old lad loves them.

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 - Mar 07 2009 :  4:43:13 PM  Show Profile
WEll it sounds like we had a successful day all around! Great job girls!

Gail - 3/4 a cup will be pleanty in reserve! As long as you have a little left over that will help get the yeast active eating the new food you feed it.

Kristin - these biscuits are intended to be hard, however, if you cut back on the baking time they will be FINE to serve your dogs and they will be much softer. Baking them until very hard removes most of the water and allows them to be stored a little longer. If you do cut back on the bakinf time you will want to make sure that your dogs consume them all in a few days before mold takes over.

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 - Mar 07 2009 :  4:47:01 PM  Show Profile
Oops! MAylou - I didn't mean to over look your question. If you want to bake twice in one week you need to double your starter. Rather than adding 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup water daily you need to increase this to 2/3 cup flour and 1/2 cup of water. This can all be added at once each morning or you can feed half in the morning and half at night. What ever works best for you. Once you double you will eaither be able to make two recipes on the same day or bake twice during the week. If you find it to be too much one week and dont think you will double bake then just decrease back to 1/3 flour and 1/4 cup water.

Hope that doesn't confuse you!

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

222 Posts

Gail
Hutchinson Minnesota
USA
222 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  5:21:26 PM  Show Profile  Send GailMN a Yahoo! Message
Thanks Julie, I figured I would be ok with 3/4 cup reserve, but did not want to tempt fate. I did end up making the Sourdough Carrot Cake instead of bread as originally planned. The Carrot Cake is so good, for those of you that have not made this yet, I wish you could have smelled it as it baked. My husband insisted on a second piece, he said he really couldn't tell if it was good or not with only one piece. I am having so much fun with sourdough. Just have to keep "Mother" happy and thriving. Thanks for all your help Julie.

Farmgirl Sister #506
A Smile a Day . . .
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2009 :  8:15:37 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Well I'm pleased to report that I didn't make a doorstop! LOL Used the recipe for the cinnamon raisin out of the magazine and omitted the raisins and added some extra cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and fresh ginger for one loaf for my son & his wife. Did it in a glass loaf pan and used the "tuck it into a steamy microwave method" to rise. The rise was surprisingly good for a young mother. Turned out pretty well for a 1st week and a 1st attempt. I do admit that it probably would have gone much better with some extra patience. It was too easy to over watch it and over think it. The inside was slightly moist and tasty and the crust was crispy.

My second loaf is more of a free form take on the cinnamon raisin loaf. Had it out to rise on the counter covered all afternoon, but the rise was hardly noticeable. My house is just too cool I think (about 58 degrees). Decided to wait to bake that one until morning. Put it into the almost cool oven with some hot water and will see what the morning brings.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  06:36:59 AM  Show Profile
Gail - my husband claimed that carrot cake sounded "gross" when I was making it. He also doesn't like cream cheese so he was certain he wasn't going to like the frosting. I FINALLY convinced him to try a piece and I promise you he ate half the cake!

Lisa - I really think there is something to be said about temperature and humidity in the house. Typically when the weather is cool we keep out heat off during the day while we are at work and at turned down to 60 while we sleep. We only heat the house from about 4 to 10 every day and then we only heat to 68. Well this week the temperature got close to 80 4 days. We didn't turn on the heat in the house and it has been sitting between 72 and 75 for the last few days. The humidity is up in the house a little too. I also opened my windows every afternoon and my starters are looking AMAZING! They look the best they ever have. I am baking today so I am anbxious to see how it goes.

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 - Mar 08 2009 :  07:20:01 AM  Show Profile
Well....guess what I forgot last night....that my bread was rising in the oven!!!! Oh well....it's still there this morning and doesn't look like it rose very much but the oven is preheating and I'll give it a go!

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

www.farmgirlsam.blogspot.com
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GailMN
True Blue Farmgirl

222 Posts

Gail
Hutchinson Minnesota
USA
222 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  08:23:52 AM  Show Profile  Send GailMN a Yahoo! Message
Julie - my husband would have eaten more of the cake had I let him, but he is diabetic, so I have to ration his portions and then put the rest under lock and key LOL.

Sam/Sandra - my first go at bread I let rise overnight - even if it doesn't look as you would like, I bet it will taste great!

Gail

Farmgirl Sister #506
A Smile a Day . . .
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Sandra K. Licher
True Blue Farmgirl

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  08:40:28 AM  Show Profile
Gail...you ARE so right....just got through eating 4 pieces of it!!!! It cooked the 20 minutes and I took its temp and put it in for another 10 and it was perfectly done in and out. A beautiful golden crust....it did not raise much, like maybe only 2 inches high but girlfriends....it was DELICIOUS! Wow! I can't get over it...I was wondering if my "Lizzie" was fading on me but she isn't! That bread is SOUR! I love the flavor myself and I'm so glad I "forgot it" last night because what a treat it was this morning! I imagine with time and patience I will get a larger loaf that could actually make slices of bread. These are fairly short but I usually cut my sandwiches in half so who's complaining?!?!? These slices are just right for me.
Thank you everyone for posting on here because I DID try MJ's recipe before from her Idea Book and had no luck whatsoever but because of the support of Mary Jane and all of the rest of you and the "handholding", I am now enjoying a very special and satisfying food that I know I will continue to make for the rest of my life. Thank you to all of you!!! But expecially thank you to my "Lizzie".

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 08 2009 :  08:57:42 AM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
The funny part is that my starter has looked great even with the cooler house. It has produced lots of bubbles and no mold problems. The delays only came in the rise before baking part. However, when I looked over the magazine article again last night she does point out again that we are working on a slow rise process and not something artificially stimulated by commercial yeasts. So, I have chalked it up to another lesson in patience.

The nice weather that you've been having sounds wonderful! We had a break here this week too. One day it got to almost 60 but mostly in the mid-40s during the days. The snow is nearly gone and the mud is thriving,lol. The sunshine has been wonderful! Days are getting longer. Looking forward to being out in the gardens!



http://www.myspace.com/lupinelady99
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6055 Posts

Shirley Jean (Jeannie)
Florida
USA
6055 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  09:07:38 AM  Show Profile
Well, I baked my third loaf.....added a little sugar this time to cut the sour. It tasted better, but still did not rise at all. So it is a little flat and gummy in the middle. Will keep trying. This time I let it rise on top of the stove with the overhead light shining on it, covered in a glass pan. Different that before with using the cast iron and the oven light. But no difference.....I have to figure out how to get it to rise!

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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GailMN
True Blue Farmgirl

222 Posts

Gail
Hutchinson Minnesota
USA
222 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  10:16:09 AM  Show Profile  Send GailMN a Yahoo! Message
The first time I made bread, I let it rise for 18 hours - I put it in my pan at noon on a Saturday, thought I could bake around 10 p.m., but had very little rise, so I left it overnight, and in the morning it had doubled - so if you can manage it, don't be too anxious. I'm on my third week and am feeding double - if it were just hubby and me I would be ok with the original starter, but I have all these grandkids that have figured out already that Grandma makes good stuff on Saturday. I'm going to fool them though and try to make something on Wednesday and Saturday this week, my "Mother" seems to be very healthy, I think I can double dip this week. We'll see. I just knew your bread would taste good Sam - hope you are all having a lovely Sunday.

Gail

Farmgirl Sister #506
A Smile a Day . . .
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  11:06:11 AM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Time is definitely the difference in the rise! My 2nd loaf (the freeform one) sat rather unhappy all day yesterday (covered with a damp cloth) until I decided to let it have a go at the rise in the steamy oven (the oven off and a bowl of boiling water method) overnight. Finally baked that one late this morning. It had more than doubled in size by having patience. Tastes wonderful. Had a slice of it with coffee and you really know you had something. Not the "hummingbird buzz" of empty carbs or the "lump in your stomach" but rather a satisfied feeling.

Thanks for the tip that was posted about making the tin foil tent to avoid burning the crust! That worked great for the last few minutes while the internal temperature was climbing. Crust is still nice and cruchy but the taste is better that way.

For the bread baking novice the thermometer is a must! I'd have taken the loaves out far sooner than they should have with out the guidance provided. This coming from a woman that nearly never sets a timer for anything and measures loosely like your great grandmother did, lol!

The free form and larger loaves definitely take a lot of patience or the ability to forget them if you want them to rise beyond flatbread. I think if you wanted a quick bread fix and didn't have the time to plan, small loaves or roll size would be better.

http://www.myspace.com/lupinelady99
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ParisKnight
Farmgirl in Training

12 Posts

Kathy
Boston MA
12 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  11:47:14 AM  Show Profile
Honey Wheat Oatmeal Bread

Yesterday was my baking day with my three week old mother and this is what I came up with.

3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup honey
3/4 t salt
2 cups mother
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour

Put oats in small bowl
Heat milk till steaming and pour over oats.
Allow oats to cool 15 minutes or so
Into large bowl add two cups mother
Add salt and honey to mother and stir
Add oat/milk mixture to mother and stir
Add flour to mother and stir
Let rise 6-8 hours
Bake at 425 degrees till internal temp gets to 195-205 degrees
It took mine about 40 minutes

It turned out great. You can really taste the honey so if you prefer a less sweet bread you might want to reduce the amount of honey.



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GailMN
True Blue Farmgirl

222 Posts

Gail
Hutchinson Minnesota
USA
222 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  12:30:28 PM  Show Profile  Send GailMN a Yahoo! Message
Thank you Kathy - the recipe sounds great.

Gail


Farmgirl Sister #506
A Smile a Day . . .
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Sandra K. Licher
True Blue Farmgirl

1106 Posts

Sandra
Horseshoe Bend Arkansas
1106 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  12:33:01 PM  Show Profile
Kathy, thank you so much for the recipe! I'm going to have to bake twice a week with all these great recipes to try! That sounds like it would be favorite of mine right off the bat!

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

www.farmgirlsam.blogspot.com
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Suzan
True Blue Farmgirl

659 Posts

suzanne
duncannon pa
USA
659 Posts

Posted - Mar 08 2009 :  3:50:34 PM  Show Profile
Sam, The only thing about letting it rise overnight is that the longer you let it rise the more sour it will taste - if you like the sour taste that's not a problem. Glad to hear your bread turned out! Tomorrow morning I'm making cinnamon raisin bread but I have alot of starter going so I think the honey wheat oatmeal bread is on the agenda too!
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