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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2009 :  1:08:00 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Cherry, thanks. It was more of a laugh at myself moment...when mother nature reminds us that we cannot be all things to everyone and can't control all. Sometimes we need those little reminders to keep us humble.

Sorry about your bread. I noticed recently that if I don't stir up my starter multiple times a day (just whenever you pass by the bowl) that it develops a very sour taste to it too. When mine is extra sour it also doesn't rise as well. Without going all "Bill Nye, the Science Guy" I believe that it means my starter is out of balance between the lactobacillius and the yeast and the pH is too acid. The extra stirring seems to add more oxygen to it and keeps the yeastie beasties happy. I don't know too much about the hooch because I don't seem to get that for some reason. Others have commented about it and have linked it to the brand or type of flour they are using. Look back through the posts at your leisure or ask Willowcreek Julie because she is very helpful.

The other advice on when your starter gets extremely sour is to use up (or freeze or dry) starter to get your bowl down to 1/4 cup or less and then start feeding again. The starter won't be so sour then, but won't be like when you began at week one.

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

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2009 :  1:33:43 PM  Show Profile
On the subject of cleaning the towel I have something else to address. THE PLATE!!! I kept having problems with mold and couldnt for the life of me figure out why! I was doing absolutly everything right. I was changing the bowl and the towel everyweek and kept getting mold. It NEVER occured to me to change or wash the plate because I wasnt "using" it for anything. Well it suddenly occured to me that perhaps this may be the problem. I looked at the underside of my plate and it was covered with mold spores!!! I immediatly washed the whole setup and restarted using some of my dried starter. So far so good! So my advise is DONT FORGET TO CHANGE THE PLATE!!!!

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

602 Posts

Cherry
Odenville AL
USA
602 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2009 :  2:32:29 PM  Show Profile
Good point, Julie, about the plate! Falls under "who'da thunk it", 'cause the towel is between the two.

Thanks, Lisa! After reading back through the posts, it seems most are having favorable results around week 3, so I'm gonna definitely hang in there. I'm using the KA flour (thanky, Publix!), and we have really wonderful, clear well water. My mother lives on the top of my fridge. I feed her in the mornings. I've been a bit concerned for her the past few days 'cause our AC is on the fritz, temps are getting up in the mid-80s, and no idea how soon the repair guy can get here. I've had windows and doors open day and night for the past 3 days! Something else about yesterdays bread could be because I didn't follow the recipe exactly. (I'm bad trying to be creative sometimes!) I added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and walnuts. Trial and error, sister. Trial and error.

~~Cherry~~

"A thing is as simple or as complicated as you make it." --TT Murphy
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2009 :  8:06:48 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Cherry, I have been using the King Arthur too. I am really careful to check the dates on the bags when I buy it. Yes, it is somewhat local to me here in NY. However, it is not the most popular brand so I am sure to get the bag that has the best fresh date. You might want to check for a brand of organic flour that is local to your area if you keep having too much hooch.

The top of the fridge might not be the best place if the temps are high. Don't forget that heat rises, so it is warmer up there with the heat of the appliance and the natural temperature increase from heat rising. Once the A/C is repaired or during the winter that would be a good place.

I love to play around with the "basic farmhouse" loaf recipe by adding different spices or flours. It is such a great basic recipe that allows a lot of imagination.

Julie, wow! Mold is awful hardy stuff and it always amazes me the places that it grows.

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

12 Posts

Kathy
Boston MA
12 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  1:37:35 PM  Show Profile
Sorry your bread didn't turn out, Cherry. Don't give up hope! While you wait for your mother to mature you might want to try pancakes, brownies or one of the quick bread/muffin recipes that don't require a rise.

This week I am going to adapt a walnut quick bread recipe I found in the latest Cooking Light magazine. It sounds really good. If it turns out I'll post it.

I've never thought about looking at the bottom of my plate. We have had about a 40 degree swing in temperature here over the last 24 hours and this AM I checked my plate and there was a good deal of condensation on the bottom. So something to keep an eye on for sure!
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Amie C.
True Blue Farmgirl

2099 Posts


Finger Lakes Region NY
2099 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2009 :  06:42:25 AM  Show Profile
Hey, speaking of the weather getting warmer...I've had my mother going since January, baking every week. I've tried a bunch of different recipes and I'm really enjoying it.

But this week we had our first 90 degree day, and my mother immediately grew mold. I'm so bummed. I had to throw it out.

I want to start another, but I'm wondering if there are any tricks to keeping it fresh through the hot months. Maybe feeding and stirring twice a day instead of once? Would the extra motion and activity keep the mold from getting started? I suppose I could start keeping it in the fridge, but I'd rather not.
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Amie C.
True Blue Farmgirl

2099 Posts


Finger Lakes Region NY
2099 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2009 :  06:45:53 AM  Show Profile
Oh sorry, I should add: I keep my mother in a mason jar with a loosely woven wash cloth draped over. I never seal it with a lid. There are not any particularly hot or cool places in my kitchen, but the spot where I keep it is not in direct sunlight.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2009 :  08:03:47 AM  Show Profile
Amie I will run this by MaryJane and see if she has any tips as I have not had one through the summer months yet. If anyone else has advise please chime in!

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

602 Posts

Cherry
Odenville AL
USA
602 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2009 :  8:48:25 PM  Show Profile
Ok, ya'll, proof that I'm a real scatter-brain! MaryJane suggests using a cast-iron sauce pan to bake the bread in, right? Well, I've been using my cast-iron stew pot because, well, because I opened my cabinet door and right there it was. But it's been tickling my brain that somewhere I have a cast-iron saucepan, just couldn't remember where. So I got to digging tonight through the cabinets, and ah, ha! found it! It was a bit rusty so I cleaned it up to season it again and while I was scrubbing at it, the wooden handle kept coming undone and it was aggravating me. I twisted it in as hard as I could, rubbed the pan down with shortening and stuck it in the oven. After about 15 minutes, I started smelling something real funky, but before I could check it out, I got side-tracked with my baby girl going to bed. Fifteen minutes later, I'm thinking what IS that smell?! I check on my "seasoning" saucepan and guess what, I LEFT THE WOODEN HANDLE ON IT!! 'Bout burnt it as black as the saucepan! UGH!

Yes, you have my permission to laugh. Afterall, what can you do but laugh? I just hope this isn't indicative of how my bread's are gonna turn out!

~~Cherry~~

"A thing is as simple or as complicated as you make it." --TT Murphy
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CherryMeDarlin
True Blue Farmgirl

602 Posts

Cherry
Odenville AL
USA
602 Posts

Posted - May 01 2009 :  10:27:26 AM  Show Profile
Just mixed up and set to rise my 4th attempt at delicious bread! (Minus the now-scorched handle! But it's also now a lovely shade of mahogany!) I tossed in some lemon peel and poppy seeds. Fingers crossed!!

Off to run up the road to buy some more honey!

~~Cherry~~

"A thing is as simple or as complicated as you make it." --TT Murphy
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Pearlsnjeans
True Blue Farmgirl

246 Posts

Vicki
West Haven Utah
USA
246 Posts

Posted - May 01 2009 :  4:12:09 PM  Show Profile
Hi Ladies - I haven't been on this string since about page 50. I let my starter die while I was out of town for work. Now that I've caught up on all the reading, it's wonderful to know that next time I can put it in the fridge for a few days. I'm going to have to get another one going because all the yummy recipes have made me hungry!

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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CherryMeDarlin
True Blue Farmgirl

602 Posts

Cherry
Odenville AL
USA
602 Posts

Posted - May 01 2009 :  8:41:39 PM  Show Profile
Eh, no rise.

My mother is being really bad!

~~Cherry~~

"A thing is as simple or as complicated as you make it." --TT Murphy
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CherryMeDarlin
True Blue Farmgirl

602 Posts

Cherry
Odenville AL
USA
602 Posts

Posted - May 02 2009 :  7:30:26 PM  Show Profile
Julie, I made the brownies you posted (pg 67) tonight for the hubs birthday and received a thumbs-up for them! Thank you for sharing! Finally my mother did something successful!! (Like how I'm transferring all responsibility to her?)

~~Cherry~~

"A thing is as simple or as complicated as you make it." --TT Murphy
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - May 03 2009 :  09:36:20 AM  Show Profile
Its always the mothers fault! LOL! Glad you had some success! Keep at it and you will get that wonderful loaf of bread soon!

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - May 03 2009 :  12:25:33 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
My store was out of the King Arthur organic flour this week, so I had to make a decision on what to do until they got more in or until I go to the whole foods market in Vermont on the 8th. So, I bought Gold Medal Organic Flour and hoped for the best. Well, I have to admit that this has been good flour. My starter is super active, no hooch, and the bread turned out great.

The package has the organic certification on it. They do "enrich" it a bit with some added vitamins, but no barley in it.

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

222 Posts

Gail
Hutchinson Minnesota
USA
222 Posts

Posted - May 03 2009 :  2:14:56 PM  Show Profile  Send GailMN a Yahoo! Message
OK girls - hang on to your aprons and wooden spoons! It is rhubarb season in Minnesota - today I made the Carrot Cake posted by Julie in February on page 47 of this thread. I added 2 cups of finely chopped rhubarb to the cake - it is sooooooo good. Wish I could share it with all of you.

I have a question about the Pecan Date Bread posted by Julie on page 51 - has anyone made with anything other than dates? My husband does not like dates.

Hope you all are enjoying Spring as much as I am - tomorrow I will be in the flower beds - lots of stuff peeking through. Happy Sunday.

Gail


Farmgirl Sister #506
A Smile a Day . . .
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ParisKnight
Farmgirl in Training

12 Posts

Kathy
Boston MA
12 Posts

Posted - May 04 2009 :  1:51:46 PM  Show Profile
Hi Gail,

I made the pecan/date recipe as is once and it was very good. I bet raisins would work as well. Or maybe cranberries or apricots.

This weekend I tried adapting a walnut quick bread from Cooking Light and also a sourdough corn bread recipe from Emeril's website. Both tasted pretty good but the consistency of both came out a little heavy for my tastes. The walnut bread reminded me of bread pudding. So, probably need to experiment a little bit to get them to come out the way I like.

I think I will do a Mary Jane style artisan wheat bread next.
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Farmers Daughter
True Blue Farmgirl

90 Posts

DiAnn

90 Posts

Posted - May 04 2009 :  5:41:06 PM  Show Profile
Lisa~
I have only been able to find the Gold Metal organic flour here at my local store. So that is what I have been using and have had good luck with it. Started my mother in Feb. She is still doing well.
A friend of mind knew I was looking for King Arthur flour and picked me a bag up for me at a Whole Foods store. But it wasn't organic. So I am using that for my bread making and continuing to use the Gold Metal for my mother. So far so good. I have never had the hooch on top like some have mentioned. I just thought it was cause our house get kind of dry in the winter.
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - May 04 2009 :  7:43:10 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Thanks for your information DiAnn! I was concerned about switching flour when all had been going well. So far the switch is going well. In fact, my mother seems happier with the change in flour. It is really bubbly and active. The baking went well the other day, and I'm looking forward to baking again soon (if life will settle down a bit and allow the time).

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

3455 Posts

Diana
Orofino ID
USA
3455 Posts

Posted - May 08 2009 :  2:05:07 PM  Show Profile
I have found a number of great Recipe but this is my favorite.

Diana


Farmgirl Sister #273
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gramadinah
True Blue Farmgirl

3455 Posts

Diana
Orofino ID
USA
3455 Posts

Posted - May 08 2009 :  2:18:57 PM  Show Profile
Ingredients
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or 1 pack)
1 dash salt
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 cups flour
1/2-1 cup additional flour, to knead
2 tablespoons butter
Directions
1Proof yeast in warm water with sugar. (Pour warm water in a warm bowl. Sprinkle sugar over water, stir to combine. Sprinkle yeast over sugar water. Let it sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes, and allow it to bubble / froth. ).
2Add starter to yeast, with the salt and melted butter. Stir in the 3 cups of flour. (I suppose you could use a mixer for this - its so simple to do by hand that I never have.) If your starter is very thin, you may need additional flour. The dough should be soft, but handleable.
3Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or so. Form a roll and place in well greased loaf pan.
4Cover with a lightweight towel or paper towel, etc. and allow to rise in a warm place. I turn my oven on warm for 5 minutes, turn the oven off, and stick the bread in to rise. This will take a long time (like around 3 hours,) depending on your starter. It is done rising when the loaf begins to peak over the top edge of the pan.
5Preheat the oven to 375* F. Bake the bread for about 10 minutes, or until the crust has reached your desired color. Cover the loaf with a tinfoil tent (leave it a bit loose so that the bread can continue to rise.).
6Bake an additional 30-40 minutes, until the loaf is done. The internal temperature should be 190-200, and it should sound hollow when thumped. I find it easier to stick a thermometer in, than to remove the loaf of bread to thump the bottom.
7Immediately brush the top with butter, so keep the crust moist. I like to use an electric knife to slice the bread and get beautiful, even slices.


Diana
Somedays this rises super fast make sure you watch and bake when about 1 1/2 inches over loaf pan.


Farmgirl Sister #273

Edited by - gramadinah on May 08 2009 2:20:26 PM
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candela59
Farmgirl in Training

35 Posts

Peggy
White Swan WA
USA
35 Posts

Posted - May 08 2009 :  6:39:45 PM  Show Profile  Send candela59 a Yahoo! Message
Diana~ what a beautiful loaf of bread!



www.thewanderlustgirl.blogspot.com

"Happiness is not having what you want, it is wanting what you have."

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Ronna
True Blue Farmgirl

1891 Posts

Ronna
Fernley NV
USA
1891 Posts

Posted - May 08 2009 :  8:19:41 PM  Show Profile
Nice looking loaf of bread Diana! So happy you're keeping the starter going.
Good tip for slicing a loaf of bread. When you take it out of the pan, set it on it's side on the cooling rack. It will make indentions on the side and can be used to slice evenly.
Electric knives do a great job too. I still have the one my FIL bought me in the mid 60's.
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pamcook
True Blue Farmgirl

228 Posts

Pam
Chapel Hill NC
USA
228 Posts

Posted - May 08 2009 :  9:19:08 PM  Show Profile
Has anyone tried making cinnamon rolls using the starter? The kind you roll out, top with cinnamon sugar & butter, roll up and slice?
We're loving the waffles made with the starter. I even made some butter tonight to have with them in the morning.
DD in Australia is venturing into our world with making her own starter tomorrow. I've sent her a list of all the great information in this thread - including the recipes.

www.ikat.org
www.longaberger.com/pamcook
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Ronna
True Blue Farmgirl

1891 Posts

Ronna
Fernley NV
USA
1891 Posts

Posted - May 08 2009 :  11:18:30 PM  Show Profile
Pam, starter can be added to nearly any recipe for baking, yeast or quick breads. You don't need a new recipe, use what you know is a good one and add some starter...amount depends on how much sourdough flavor you want. A cupful is about right for most recipes.
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