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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12892 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12892 Posts

Posted - May 23 2009 :  8:42:53 PM  Show Profile
Lisa,
I love how you're using your refrigerator for your mother, shaking her and feeding her once in a while and letting her warm up and then also letting her "gas" outfrom a sealed container. I'm gonna try it!


MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - May 24 2009 :  4:11:17 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
I have been loving the recipes shared on this thread. My starter loves the warmer weather. Now that we have a house with windows that actually open, I love to set my starter by an open window. Her taste has changed a bit from when I first started. A bit richer and maybe a little nutty? I love chemistry and science and it really facinates me how each location can give the sourdough it's own unique flavor.

Right now my sourdough is chilling in the freezer. I am away for a few weeks and I know my husband would just neglect her to death!

Oh and you want to know something really funny? My dog is addicted to sourdough. I can't leave it out on the counter or she will steal it and gorge herself on the whole thing!

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
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lupinelady99
True Blue Farmgirl

113 Posts

Lisa
Massena New York
USA
113 Posts

Posted - May 24 2009 :  9:02:14 PM  Show Profile  Send lupinelady99 an ICQ Message  Click to see lupinelady99's MSN Messenger address
Alee, my starter had changed in texture since the dark days of winter too. The smell is just wonderful now too. It was good before, but hard to believe how much better now. The maturity of the starter and the warmer temps also make the rise time go so much faster. The loaf of bread I baked tonight rose higher than ever and only took a few hours.

I have some other baking to do this week, so my starter is out of the fridge right now. Ended up keeping it inside a mason jar covered with a damp towel on the broadshelf instead of my big stoneware bowl. It isn't getting such a skin on it with the smaller surface area exposed (even covered with a wet towel it was getting a skin very fast before).

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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - May 24 2009 :  10:48:48 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
That's great Lisa! In my climate my mother can form a skin pretty quick. Depending on how thick it is I will stir it is on pick it out. I will have to try the bit I pull out to bake with in a mason jar to prevent that skin from forming.

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
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pamcook
True Blue Farmgirl

228 Posts

Pam
Chapel Hill NC
USA
228 Posts

Posted - May 25 2009 :  07:48:44 AM  Show Profile
I saved some started in a canning jar - stuck it in the freezer. The thought of losing my starter completely just made me sad. Over the past couple of weeks, I've found that if I don't change my bowl every 3 or 5 days, I'll find some bits of pale grey mold around the bowl (I do try to scrape the edges as carefully as I can though). I tried saving some waffle batter in the fridge - it grows mold very quickly even with plastic wrap covering it. So hopefully, I can make it through summer (I use starter every week now for waffles and pizza dough - hoping for a cool rainy day so I can bake a loaf of bread without heating the whole house with the oven). If not, I'll have my starter in the freezer.

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pamcook
True Blue Farmgirl

228 Posts

Pam
Chapel Hill NC
USA
228 Posts

Posted - May 25 2009 :  07:53:01 AM  Show Profile
I forgot to mention - I'm now using Mary Jane's flour exclusively. I do get lumps but they dissolve overnight. No hooch since I switched from KA to her flour.
I found a mill about 20 miles from my home. It was established in 1755. They do organic hard wheat flour. I bought some and will give it a try as I run out of Mary Jane's. Only because I'm making an effort to shop locally. If it doesn't work, I'll be buying Mary Jane's four for my bread products again. I'll compromise the local shopping for my bread products, spices and coffee without guilt!

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12892 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12892 Posts

Posted - May 25 2009 :  08:33:58 AM  Show Profile
Hi Pam,
You could use the local flour for the bread part of whatever you bake if the local flour doesn't work well as a mother flour. Hopefully it will. If not, you wouldn't need us to ship you very much if you're using it just for your mother. I found the KA flour (now that it has barley malt added) produces hooch big-time. I had it on the counter with mine and the difference was shocking--same water, same air, same everything, except flour. Since you're in a humid, warm climate, I'd love to continue to get your feedback. For those overnight lumps, try adding your flour to your mother with a sifter. Mine is on the counter this morning bubbling away, waiting to be made into a batch of soft pretzels today. I love to have my guests smell her aroma. It's divine. And the flapjacks/waffles she's making these days are to die for. I think she's a tad more energetic now that all the windows are open and her air is fresher. Guess I'm no different.


MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - May 25 2009 :  09:50:15 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
MaryJane- I think the hardest part about traveling and staying at a friend's house? I had to leave my sourdough behind! I sure missed it this morning when I had my farm fresh eggs with store bought bread!

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
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pamcook
True Blue Farmgirl

228 Posts

Pam
Chapel Hill NC
USA
228 Posts

Posted - May 25 2009 :  5:30:50 PM  Show Profile
I'll check in if anything changes. LOL! I'll try to remember to buy a sifter - I'm 52 and have avoided needing one all these years! Good idea to use your (Mary Jane's) flour for my starter and the local flour for my baking. (There's an initiate to get farmers here to start growing hard wheat.) I love smelling the starter, too. It just smells so healthy.

Question for everyone - My daughter is living just outside of Melbourne Australia. It's fall there now and she was so excited to get her own starter going. She just called me on the web cam - her starter is full of mold! After just 24 hours. I told her to throw it out (she's pregnant - nothing worth risking getting sick) and wait until I hear back from you all before starting another. They live in a home that's about 4 years old and she hasn't seen any visible signs of mold anywhere else in the house. Her fridge is brand new. She used filtered water (and sat it out for 24 hours before using it) and plain unbleached flour (she hasn't found an organic flour yet). Any thoughts? Could it be the flour? Her utensils are all brand new, too. She used a clear bowl and we could see the mold in the batter when she lifted it.

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12892 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12892 Posts

Posted - May 25 2009 :  9:36:48 PM  Show Profile
Hi Pam,
It sounds like the flour to me, so I got this wild idea to send her some of my flour (on my tab) because then we'd know for sure. But hubby says he's tried several times to send food to Australia and it goes permanently into quarantine and then a landfill. Anyway, we can't think of how to send some to your daughter. Too bad. That would be the perfect test.

I can tell you this, flour is everything. I've lined up three bowls on my counter and started from scratch three mothers using three different ORGANIC white flours, nevermind non-organic flour that tends to be even more problematic. I stuck with them for six weeks determined to get all three the same. They were remarkably different. Same water also. Same everything except flour. One of them was just hoochy and lumpy and the other one never bubbled well or became robust like I'm used to. I just wish everyone could have what I have on my counter! Tonight I made baquettes and pretzels. They turned out gorgeous. I'll try to snap a photo in the morning.


MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - May 25 2009 :  10:23:25 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Wow Pam! That mold must have really liked that starter mix! I tried making a sour dough starter from non organic flour once and it was bad. They must do something weird. Maybe it's the pesticides used on the non organic flour? Does your daughter have a health food/natural food market near by?

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
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DeepsouthMamma
True Blue Farmgirl

1454 Posts

Autumn
Southwest Louisiana
USA
1454 Posts

Posted - May 25 2009 :  10:50:12 PM  Show Profile
It may be more than the flour- I was using a great starter with regular flour and had no problems at all-UNTIL our heat and humidity appeared- my good starter went bad FAST!
We simply cannot leave it out on the counter down here in the deep south- it gets fuzzy mold in about 4 hours like before noon!!!

Am I the only one this has happened to? I have been experimenting with several things but this is pretty consistent.

Blessings,
Autumn
Farmgirl #49
http://simplytoday-autumn.blogspot.com/

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - May 26 2009 :  07:00:41 AM  Show Profile
I can totally agree with what MaryJane is saying about it being the flour. When we first started this project I was running 4 starters. I had the MJ flour, two different types of KA flour and the widly available Gold Medal Organic flour. The difference was amazing. The Gold Medal was VERY hoochy and molded very quickly. The KA flours did okay but the consistancy was off. The MJ flour was GREAT!

Autumn - I think living here in the hot humid south we have some different issues to deal with. Look back a page or two and MaryJane gives some great ideas about what to do in this heat. I just pulled my starter back out of the freezer on Saturday. I am keeping her in a clean cooler, left ajar with 2 small ice packs which I switch out daily. In the last two days she has done well. She is still getting the benefit of air but also the benefit of a little cooler temperature.

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
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pamcook
True Blue Farmgirl

228 Posts

Pam
Chapel Hill NC
USA
228 Posts

Posted - May 26 2009 :  5:53:27 PM  Show Profile
I'm in the humid south, too. If I change the towel and bowl every 3-4 days I can avoid mold. My daughter now isn't convinced she has mold. She's going to call me tonight and let me know what it looks like today.
Mary Jane - you're so sweet to want to send her flour. Yes, Australia is very strict about importing food products. She's looking for organic flour. So far, she's only been able to find unbleached. Once she gets her car, she'll be able to explore a bit further from home.


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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - May 26 2009 :  9:56:45 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Pam- I am dying to hear what your daughter says about the starter! I hope it turns out that it wasn't mold but just a transition phase for her starter.

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
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gramadinah
True Blue Farmgirl

3455 Posts

Diana
Orofino ID
USA
3455 Posts

Posted - May 27 2009 :  07:40:48 AM  Show Profile
Mary Jane is the Soft Pretzel receipe some where on the thread I have been looking for a good one and would love yours if you would care to share..

Diana

Farmgirl Sister #273
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12892 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12892 Posts

Posted - May 27 2009 :  07:46:48 AM  Show Profile
Soon, Diana, you will come for a visit and you will see how things get done here, or not. There's a plate of pretzels in the kitchen this morning with a sign on them that says: DO NOT EAT US, WE'RE WAITING FOR OUR PHOTO OP. Everything gets eaten here, hence the note. One time I came in with my camera just as my son was eating the last bite of a very involved meat recipe. As soon as Denali gets the photo done, she'll post the recipe that Juli started and I finalized. And by then, I will have eaten pretzels for breakfast

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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gramadinah
True Blue Farmgirl

3455 Posts

Diana
Orofino ID
USA
3455 Posts

Posted - May 27 2009 :  07:55:26 AM  Show Profile
Thanks so much I can hardle wait.

Diana

Farmgirl Sister #273
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pamcook
True Blue Farmgirl

228 Posts

Pam
Chapel Hill NC
USA
228 Posts

Posted - May 27 2009 :  08:56:08 AM  Show Profile
I've been waiting and waiting for that pretzel recipe!

Probably good news - it looks as though my daughter's starter wasn't moldy. She said it looked like "pancake batter" when she checked it. She found a place that ships organic flour - was going to call them to see if they have hard wheat organic flour for bread. Keeping our fingers crossed...

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12892 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12892 Posts

Posted - May 27 2009 :  10:46:43 AM  Show Profile


Sourdough Pretzels

2 T butter
3 T sugar
2 t salt
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 cups “Bread the MaryJane Way” Sourdough Starter
4 cups all-purpose flour
coarse salt
melted butter

1. In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugar, salt, and hot water. Stir well and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the sourdough starter and stir in the water mixture. With a wooden spoon, add 3 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Turn out onto a floured board and add about 1 cup more of the flour, mixing by hand. The dough will be stiff.
3. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, turn over, and cover with a wet cloth. Let set for at least 2 hours to proof.
4. Separate proofed dough into 20 equal pieces. Each dough ball should be about the size of an egg. Roll each piece out with the palm of your hands until it is about 15 inches long and about 1/2 inch in diameter. Twist into the shape of a pretzel and place on a cookie sheet. Set aside to proof for at least two more hours.
5. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil and preheat your oven to 425*F. When the water has come to a rapid boil, drop about 5 pretzels into the water and cook for 3-5 minutes, turning them once. Remove them from the water and place them on a clean dish towel to drain. You will likely need to work in several batches and will need to wait until your water comes to a rapid boil again for each batch. You do not want the pretzels to touch while they are boiling.
6. Place boiled pretzels on a buttered baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in a preheated 425*F oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Brush with melted butter just before serving. Serve with mustard.

Variations: Bits of chopped fresh herbs can be added while mixing the dough for an extra bit of flavor. Try chopped rosemary or fresh basil and some roasted garlic. Pretzels may also be dipped in a spice mixture (think Everything Bagels) or sprinkled with parmesan cheese after boiling and prior to baking! ENJOY!


MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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Annika
True Blue Farmgirl

5602 Posts

Annika

USA
5602 Posts

Posted - May 27 2009 :  10:51:30 AM  Show Profile
Oh yum! Thank you so much MaryJane, those look wonderful!

Annika
Farmgirl & sister #13


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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - May 27 2009 :  11:16:26 AM  Show Profile
Thanks for posting the recipe MaryJane. I am so glad we got the kinks worked out finally!

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 - May 27 2009 :  12:16:35 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
mmmm.. My mouth is watering!!

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
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NikkiBeaumont
True Blue Farmgirl

473 Posts



473 Posts

Posted - May 28 2009 :  03:41:54 AM  Show Profile
Oh, yummy, MaryJane! Those look delicious! I do want to try my hand at baking your bread and making pretzels! How fun!

Farmgirl Sister #554
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pamcook
True Blue Farmgirl

228 Posts

Pam
Chapel Hill NC
USA
228 Posts

Posted - May 28 2009 :  07:51:43 AM  Show Profile
Yum! I have got to try these tonight. I would bet they'd be delish with a touch of honey, cinnamon and a few raisins, too. Pretzels are the perfect snack.

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