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bboopster
True Blue Farmgirl

1140 Posts

Betty Jo
West Bend Wisconsin
USA
1140 Posts

Posted - May 10 2009 :  08:29:40 AM  Show Profile  Click to see bboopster's MSN Messenger address
Is this a gluten free bread?

http://www.bboopster.blogspot.com
Nana to 1 with 3 on the way.
3 Blue Star Mother and Proud of it!
Pray for our troops to come home safe and soon.
Enjoying the road to the simple life :>)
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gramadinah
True Blue Farmgirl

3455 Posts

Diana
Orofino ID
USA
3455 Posts

Posted - May 10 2009 :  08:31:19 AM  Show Profile
NO it starts with flour and water and only gets worse with more flour and water and yeast.

Diana

Farmgirl Sister #273
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AmberMA
Farmgirl at Heart

2 Posts


Florida
2 Posts

Posted - May 11 2009 :  08:57:27 AM  Show Profile
I just started my mother yesterday, and this morning I noticed some spots in the bowl that looked like mold. Is it possible for the mother to mold that quickly?? The temp in my house is a little warm, we are in Florida. Generally we keep the temp at 77 to avoid high cooling costs. Also, I set the bowl on the stove and we leave the light on above the stove all night...so I am wondering if the combo of the house being warm and the mother sitting under the light all night made it too warm.

Thanks!
Amber
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - May 11 2009 :  2:53:25 PM  Show Profile
Amber it seems unlikely that it would grow mold that quickly. Are you sure it wasnt just a lump pf flour that didnt quite get mixed in?

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

2 Posts


Florida
2 Posts

Posted - May 12 2009 :  08:34:52 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by willowtreecreek

Amber it seems unlikely that it would grow mold that quickly. Are you sure it wasnt just a lump pf flour that didnt quite get mixed in?




I am pretty sure it wasn't flour. My mother also smells rather funky this morning...not a sour smell, more like a pungent swiss cheese. That can't be good, can it??
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CherryMeDarlin
True Blue Farmgirl

602 Posts

Cherry
Odenville AL
USA
602 Posts

Posted - May 12 2009 :  08:42:59 AM  Show Profile
Sad news: My mother and I are parting ways. After 5 weeks of trying to get to know one another, she continues to refuse to "rise" to the occasion. I made another attempt at the simple recipe from MJ's article and again, Mother just laid there and did absolutely nothing. Amidst a deep heart-felt sigh of resignation on my part, the hubs quipped, "Baby, your talents just happen to lie elsewhere. Bread making just ain't your thing."

On to learning how to can!

~~Cherry~~

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

657 Posts

Judith
Spokane Washington
USA
657 Posts

Posted - May 12 2009 :  10:33:12 AM  Show Profile
I would love to try making this (or any!) bread...however...
My house is too cold!
Even now, in Springtime, it isn't 70F anywhere in my house. In the winter I keep the heater set at 65F and dress warmly. However, until the Summertime hits, the house doesn't warm up, so I don't have a place to put my mother that will remain a constant 70F.
What to do, what to do? I have only one sunny window on the west side of the house, but until the afternoon, that doesn't get sun and my other southern windows are in bedrooms, and my bedroom is on the southeast corner, and would only get a bit of morning sun...even above the refrigerator doesn't seem to be remarkably warmer...certainly not 70F. I have an electric oven, so cannot rely on the pilot light, if that would even work.
Any suggestions?
My heating bills have been atrocious this past winter, so I am really unwilling to expend any more precious dollars on warming the house just so I can save a few bucks on a loaf of bread.
I won't even invest in the organic flour until I find a place where I can keep my mother that won't kill her off from the cold.
Thanks for any ideas! Judy

We come from the earth, we go back to the earth, and in between, we garden!
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CherryMeDarlin
True Blue Farmgirl

602 Posts

Cherry
Odenville AL
USA
602 Posts

Posted - May 12 2009 :  10:41:58 AM  Show Profile
Hi, Judy, some of the girls have suggested using a heating pad.

~~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 12 2009 :  10:48:58 AM  Show Profile
Happy news: After yesterday's disappointment of Mother lying around for hours and not rising to the occasion, I put the lid back on my "attempt", too discouraged to do anything else with her. This morning as I was cleaning I decided I may as well go ahead and throw-out my latest effort at baking a loaf of bread. But, lo and behold, as I removed the lid, I found she had risen to near the top of the pot! Halleluia! In the oven she went where she baked up nice and beautifully! Oh, happy day! Still too sour for my tastes, but beautiful nonetheless!


~~Cherry~~

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

2099 Posts


Finger Lakes Region NY
2099 Posts

Posted - May 12 2009 :  11:10:19 AM  Show Profile
Judy, I kept a mother going all winter and my house is always at 65 (or less). I had no problems with the mother itself (herself?), and when it was time to rise the dough I would set the pan on a heating pad set on low.

I've actually got the opposite problem. When our weather went up to 90 one day last month, my mother grew mold and I had to throw it out.
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Quintessential Kate
True Blue Farmgirl

175 Posts

Kate
Tyler TX
USA
175 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  05:04:05 AM  Show Profile
Judy,
My house is also cold!!! During the cold season I only let the heater come on to "take the chill off" while my DH got ready for work. It was set to actually come on IF the house got below 64 degrees during the day...........and 55 at night.....and then it would only warm it up to the set temp. I started my "Ma" in January....and she sat on a cold granite countertop. She was slow in maturing to the point where I could make Mary Jane's breads....but when she was ready she blew me away!!! Because she was kinda in the way where she was, I put her on top of my microwave....which is right next to the refrigerator. I guess the refrigerator generates just enough heat since it's on 24/7. So I would suggest putting her on top of your refrigerator....and wrap her in a towel. That should keep her plenty warm. And DO NOT get discouraged. Most of of gals had a few "doorstop loaves" before we turned out a beauty like Mary Jane's.
Good luck.....and welcome to the world of flour, water and a thing called "Ma"!!!

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

Today is my best day!
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JudyBlueEyes
True Blue Farmgirl

657 Posts

Judith
Spokane Washington
USA
657 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  08:37:43 AM  Show Profile
Okay! Thanks for your ideas. I will do it...at least I will attempt it! I'll let you know, Judy

We come from the earth, we go back to the earth, and in between, we garden!
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  01:06:03 AM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Judy, I also keep my house very cool by some standards in winter. My thermostat is set at 60 degrees unless I've got a rare visitor because it is the way I like it. My starter did very well since starting it at the beginning of March.

Life has been extrememly busy lately. Made dog biscuits with my starter, dried a bunch, and froze a little and am putting the project briefly on hold because there just isn't enough of me to go around right now. I miss the bread so I don't know how long I'll hold out, lol. Hopefully just a few weeks until the bulk of the gardens are in order.

http://www.myspace.com/lupinelady99
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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  06:34:29 AM  Show Profile
I'm with you too Lisa...had to freeze my starter to get all my planting in...and hopefully in a bit get back to it.
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Deb H
Farmgirl in Training

46 Posts

Deb
Glendale Missouri
USA
46 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  07:43:15 AM  Show Profile
Hello, Ladies! I have skimmed most of these pages (a few months ago) but only just finally made my "mother" last weekend. it was really stiff, and not "running off the spoon" like in the photo in the magazine (or book?). anyway, it was so stiff that when i would add the flour and water every day, it was pulling away from the sides of the bowl so one day i added more water than i was supposed to and now it doesn't smell like it should. i have (for the past couple of days), just added the flour and NOT the water, to try to get back to where i should be, but i'm afraid i have drowned my mother and i don't know if i should keep trying or just start over. . .does anyone else have any similar experience?

"Well-behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  2:46:41 PM  Show Profile
The starter will be quite stiff and elastic for about the first 5 days until the flour and water balance work themselves out. You will notice a more pancake batter-like consistancy once you get into the second week.

As far as smell goes, a vinegary or alcohol is also normal in the first weeks as it produces what is called "hooch". This will disappear after a few weeks. If it smells like stinky gym socks or like a really strong blue cheese it would probably be a good idea to start over.

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

46 Posts

Deb
Glendale Missouri
USA
46 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  4:32:12 PM  Show Profile
Well, Julie, it started out smelling a little vinegary, but now it doesn't really smell like much at all. I know that sounds dumb, but at least it doesn't smell bad. It is bubbly today, after I got home from work and checked on it. Perhaps I should see what it's like tomorrow and see if I am able to get it to rise. If it doesn't work, I'll start a new mother and will remember that it's supposed to be sticky!!! I didn't remember seeing that in the other posts, so I was worried something was going wrong, but I probably shouldn't have second guessed the directions! Thank you for the info!

"Well-behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  6:59:20 PM  Show Profile
If it has no smell you are probably fine. If you get to a point though where it seems really watery you might want to toss in a little extra flour. Just keep an eye on it in this warm weather. Some have suggested giving it a stir a few times a day rather than just at feeding can help keep mold at bay.

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

13 Posts

P.J.
Garden Farms CA
USA
13 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  9:08:44 PM  Show Profile
You kept the mother going all winter? hummmmm... My house sounds like yours...less than 65. somewhere I read you should incubate the starter (80 - 90 degrees)...so I've kept it in my oven with the light on...averages around 80...could this be my problem? The starter smells weird, has a dark clear liquid on top and very few bubbles. I tried pouring half down the drain...adding 1 cup flour and 1 cup water... two days in a row now... it seems to bubble up for a while...but after most of the day stops bubbling. I'm hand grinding my Montana Wheat flour and am getting pretty tired of the nothing happening thing. I'm discouraged but determined. Why is this so hard?
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wildatheartfarmgirl
Farmgirl in Training

13 Posts

P.J.
Garden Farms CA
USA
13 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  9:15:36 PM  Show Profile
Somewhere I read that if your starter has a dark brown clear liquid on top, smelled like ?????, and had no bubbles it probably wasn't feeling good. You should pour half of it out and feed it 1 cup flour and 1 cup water...cover with cheesecloth (Im using a distowel), and incubate it 80 - 90 degrees. If on the 2nd day it still has not improved repeat the process. You can do it a 3rd day if you like. Tommorrow will be my third day, Today she bubbled for awhile but then stopped. I'm hand grinding my flour and it's not much worth it if she doesn't impress me pretty soon. So do you think the 80 to 90 degrees is too hot?
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - May 16 2009 :  04:49:07 AM  Show Profile
The dark liquid is called hooch. This is normal and fine in the beginning stages of your starter. It can even smell quite strong at times. Certain brands of flour will produce more of this. Feeding a small amount twice a day rather than just once can help you get past this stage. Also the starter will have periods where it is seemingly inactive. Don't worry. Unless you have mold I think your starter needs to be about three weeks old before you really start to see it's true potential. Also IMO I think 80-90 is too warm and will likely cause bacteria and mold. The starter itself will do best around 72-75. When you are rising a dough around 80 will help you get a faster rise. I would suggest you read this thread ( I know it LONG) but there is some really helpful information here!

Welcome to our site! Keep posting if you have questions and I'll do my best to help!s

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

13 Posts

P.J.
Garden Farms CA
USA
13 Posts

Posted - May 17 2009 :  09:25:15 AM  Show Profile
Thank you thank you thank you...I'm dancing around my kitchen today becaus it's finally happening! Yippee!! It bubbles...smells yummy (well...compared to disgusting!)...hooch, huh....thank you for letting me know it was all the beginning stages of normal. Ok I will take my starter out of my oven...72 - 75 degrees it will be. Thank you! Gonna make some bread!
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Quintessential Kate
True Blue Farmgirl

175 Posts

Kate
Tyler TX
USA
175 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  11:30:27 AM  Show Profile
I am sooooooo sad!!!!! Last night when I went to feed "Ma" she had some horrid black spots on her....and I was not willing to take any chances , so into my compost heap she went, so I figure all's not lost. I started her on @ January 7th and it has been a breeze. She acted like most of the other mothers I have been reading about.....a little slow to start, turning out the beautiful doorstops the first few times I tried Mary Jane's "no knead" artisan bread, but after a month I was turning our BEEEEE-U-TEEFUL loaves of sourdough bread. I have mentioned several times that "she" was quite forgving....and she was acting in the realm of all the other mothers I have read about. I have not changed a thing.....same flour, feedings about the same time of day......removing some of the start if I didn't have time to bake on any given week..........just a far-out experience. However, last week I noticed she was producing a significant "skin" during the day, so I did start wetting my cloth again about mid day. The only significant change has been the weather.......HOT and HUMID...but I run the A/C duting the day to pull the moisture out of the house.
Thankfully I dried some of the started about a month ago when whe was in what I think perfect conditon......so all is not lost. I'm not going to start another batch right away, as my time is being taken up by my garden.....and 3 year old shadow.....( my niece who is more like a grandchild). Don't know how long I can resist the temptation to start it again, as we have become very fond of our bread. We have become especially fond of our sourdough pancakes on Sunday's.
I will continue to subscribe to the topic, as I have learned so much and have so much fun reading about everyone's trials.And will let your know how my reconstitution turns out when the time comes.
It's funny...........I miss her in my kitchen.

Ciao,
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 - May 18 2009 :  3:06:06 PM  Show Profile
Hi Kate - My starter has been in the fridge for a bit now because I have been so busy with end of the year school stuff. I will let you know if I come up with any ideas to combat this mold growth in the hot and humid south!

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

228 Posts

Pam
Chapel Hill NC
USA
228 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  4:40:35 PM  Show Profile
I am changing my bowl and towel a couple of times a week. So far no mold in the starter but if I don't - I get mold on the sides of the bowl.

www.ikat.org
www.longaberger.com/pamcook
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