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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6055 Posts

Shirley Jean (Jeannie)
Florida
USA
6055 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  4:49:51 PM  Show Profile
Love this topic! And who does not love fresh bread? Thanks, MJ for your quick answers to all of our questions.

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  5:13:05 PM  Show Profile
Linda a small bit of "liquid" on top will be normal after the dough sits for a while. It should stir back in on your next addition of flour and water.

Farmgirl Sister #17
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gramadinah
True Blue Farmgirl

3455 Posts

Diana
Orofino ID
USA
3455 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  5:15:02 PM  Show Profile
It is 8 hours later and I am not going to even bake the bread. I thought I had it going good nice bubbles good smell but yet no rise what so ever. So I will keep trying by feeding the starter and see about it next week.

Diana

Farmgirl Sister #273
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wooliespinner
True Blue Farmgirl

1311 Posts

Linda
Manchester Ohio
1311 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  5:30:54 PM  Show Profile
Thanks Julie,

I wan't sure if this was normal or not. Will keep my fingers crossed until Sunday.

I took bonne's adice and went to http://www.texsport.net/cookware-by-cookware-type-cs-79~75.html#Dutch+Ovens and they have the 2 quart little dutch ovens. This one has legs and comes preseasoned. I would like to have one without the legs but since its the right size it will fit the bill. Its the first one I have seen that was the right size and has some depth to it. The other ones I have seen are to wide and shallow. Super thanks Bonne for your help !!

Sorry to hear that Diana.......maybe if it sets overnight it will still rise.

Linda


Raspberry Run Farm
Nubian Dairy Goats
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Ronna
True Blue Farmgirl

1891 Posts

Ronna
Fernley NV
USA
1891 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  5:43:55 PM  Show Profile
Diana, your loaf will not rise much done freeform. Without the confines of some sort of pan, it will spread out more than rise high.
Conflicting opinions on stirring the liquid (hooch) back in or pouring it off. I always stir it in, knowing it will add to the flavor. It will look like dirty dishwater, but that's okay.
I've not seen addressed the small possibility of your starter turning red. Red is bad, means bad bacteria. If this should happen, toss it out, be sure to clean well and sanitize your bowl and start over.
Julie, I've baked bread in stoneware, such as pampered chef and also the clay cookers. Bread will be crisper baked in the pampered chef pans. Trying to remember on those, but do know if you use a clay cooker, you must soak it in water and start your bread in a cold oven. I'll try to find the method for them. Also let it rise in the pan in a sink of warm water...it's interesting, but probably too involved for those just learning to bake bread.
With MaryJane's permission (thank you), I'll try to answer what I can and help those who need a bit of confidence to get it going and be successful.
As with most anything, experience makes it easier and even better.

Edited by - Ronna on Jan 19 2009 9:06:45 PM
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Bonne
True Blue Farmgirl

3003 Posts

Bonne
Littleton CO
USA
3003 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  5:56:02 PM  Show Profile
((Ronna))

You're welcome Linda~Their dutch ovens are reasonably priced even with the heavy shipping weight, I believe.

http://bonne1313.blogspot.com/ BLOG
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LindaStimson
Farmgirl at Heart

3 Posts

Linda
Brookings Oregon
USA
3 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  9:13:55 PM  Show Profile
I have three bowls of starter going at the moment. I have not figured out how to post pictures. I will try again tomorrow. One is with rye, one with Wheat and the other is the King Arthur flour. I started with warm water perhaps that's the trick? All are bubbling nicely, but it is only day two. Anybody got anything to report?

First Herwick sheep in America. British sheep raised by a British farm girl!
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country roads
True Blue Farmgirl

442 Posts

Melissa
Shinglehouse Pa
USA
442 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  9:21:36 PM  Show Profile
Ronna, thanks for the tidbit about the hooch, I thought something happened to my "mother" while I was at work. I stirred it back in tonight...is that ok? or should I have waited til morning when I added more flour and water? I didn't see any bubbles under the hooch. Also, I have cast iron bread pans will it bake ok in them? I think I read earlier in this topic that it has to bake with a lid on it, would foil on the top of my cast iron bread pan be ok?

Take care, Melissa.

Farmgirl # 352

~Think happy thoughts~
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ennoid
Farmgirl in Training

22 Posts

D
FL
USA
22 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2009 :  9:25:54 PM  Show Profile
Well, the bread was a success at my house. My kids all loved it. My husband was a bit skeptical. I think he was afraid of botchalism or something , but he liked it as well.

I've had serious doubts about my mother, but on Monday morning she looked happy and ready to go. I did let her rise for eight hours. However, I probably would have done better by stopping at seven. Her top layer dried out a bit and didn't rise during the baking (my fault for taking the lid off while the oven preheated...Opps!)

I think I'll do without the parchment next week too. It left funny creases on the sides. My pot is seasoned enough that I should be ok without it.


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country roads
True Blue Farmgirl

442 Posts

Melissa
Shinglehouse Pa
USA
442 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  02:48:24 AM  Show Profile
My mother hasn't bubbled since the hooch showed up, is that bad? Is it supposed to bubble for the entire week or how ever long you keep it going?

Take care, Melissa.

Farmgirl # 352

~Think happy thoughts~
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  05:47:32 AM  Show Profile
Melissa it probably isn't going to bubble constantly. It will bubble the most shortly after you add the flour and water and will then calm down as it rests during the day. The amount of bubbles will also be effected by the type of flour you use. I am doing 3 differetn starters right now and they all have different amounts of bubbles.

Dionne - so glad to hear you had sucess!!!!

Farmgirl Sister #17
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wooliespinner
True Blue Farmgirl

1311 Posts

Linda
Manchester Ohio
1311 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  06:35:39 AM  Show Profile
Okay I missed the part about the hooch. What exactly is the hooch?

I fed the mother today and its bubbling. This makes day 3 for me. It kinda smells like funny beer today. So I guess thats a good sign. I am still adding half unbleached flour and half homeground Montana gold wheat. I can't wait until Saturday to bake !!!

Linda

Raspberry Run Farm
Nubian Dairy Goats
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  06:44:46 AM  Show Profile
Remember that sourdough starter is a living organism. It is made of wild yeasts that have been captured from the air. The starter will consume starch in the flour, and it produces alcohol (hooch) at the end of the process. The starter will be like a smooth batter when you feed it. As it digests the new flour you have added it will bubble and froth. When it has "eaten" all the available food it will start to produce hooch, the liquid layer you'll see on the top.
When the hooch builds up, and there's no more bubbling activity, it's time to feed the starter. The Hooch will build up more as the week goes on. when you add your flour and water in the morning you can stir it back in. It is a natural process and will not hurt anything.

Farmgirl Sister #17
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Edited by - willowtreecreek on Jan 20 2009 06:46:17 AM
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wooliespinner
True Blue Farmgirl

1311 Posts

Linda
Manchester Ohio
1311 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  07:03:40 AM  Show Profile
Thanks so much for the info Julie.
I have been going back through the thread and there's alot to read.....lol. With my slow internet it takes forever for each page to load.
My husband said he has never seen me spend so much time on the computer in a very long time. I usually don't get on very often because its so slow. But the sourdough bread making has really got me excited and I am learning so much. I really looked forward to dialing up today and seeing what everyone was up to with their starter.

Linda

Raspberry Run Farm
Nubian Dairy Goats
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boonedesigns
Farmgirl in Training

10 Posts

sandy
danville OH
USA
10 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  07:12:55 AM  Show Profile
I followed the directions for the starter. I admit I did not do them exactly (editors: they are a little hard to follow being that they part is on one page and then some info on another and some in the side column). I think that is why I didn't see that I was NOT suppose to cover the starter with a wet towl and plate the first week. It must have effected my rise. Because I baked the hard dense bricks with an even harder crust.

Now I wonder if I need to start all over or use the current starter and start over only covering it with a dry towel this week. Or dump it and start over. I hate waiting another week to see if I will be baking bricks again or bread.I guess I have decided to start a new starter and continue the old one two and bake 2 recipes next week and see if either works out

I hope to someday have the bread that Jane Raves about. Not today though. Our chickens enjoyed it though so it wasn't a total waste I suppose.
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Ronna
True Blue Farmgirl

1891 Posts

Ronna
Fernley NV
USA
1891 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  07:30:28 AM  Show Profile
Once your starter is going, it should bubble within an hour of being fed. As Julie said, when it's digested the new flour, it will "hibernate" until fed again. If it's come to life at the beginning, it will again unless you do something really drastic like expose it to extreme heat. When not being used or fed, I keep mine in the fridge. If you are going to use it often, it will be fine on the counter. Some freeze the excess, I've found it does just fine in the fridge as long as helpful family members don't think it's something gone bad and toss it. Mark your container.
Another thing I'd like to mention for those who continue with the starter is contamination. While sitting on your counter, covered or not, don't use any strong cleaners or such in the vicinity as it will pick up the odors and possibly be contaminated. Just put it in the fridge while you're doing the spring cleaning and take it out later. I'll relate my horror story in another post. Thankfully, a lady in Canada I'd shared with sent me back some of my own starter when I killed it. Now I always keep some dried..which we can discuss later too.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  07:46:08 AM  Show Profile
Do keep in mind though that the starter will absorb things while in your fridge. If you do not keep a very clean fridge or often have old or moldy food in your fridge you want to clean it well before storing your starter in here. You also want to allow time for the cleaner you used to disapate. The best home for your starter is on the counter.

Sandy the starter is very forgiving and the and covering it with the wet towel and plate probably wasn't as detrimental as you think. If you got bubble and that sour smell you should be fine. I would suggest you contine working with it this week - perhaps leaving off the plate and just using the towel to allow it to breath a little more.

Also when it is rising you do not need a wet towel. You want to cover your baking container with the lid left slightly "ajar" to allow some air circulation. If you do not have a lidded container a leaving it uncovered or using a dry towel will work just fine. Make sure you are allowing enough time for the rise and that there is a consistant warm temperature.

Did you use a thermometer when baking?

Farmgirl Sister #17
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www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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www.willowartist.etsy.com
www.willowtreecreek.com

Edited by - willowtreecreek on Jan 20 2009 07:48:04 AM
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  07:55:34 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by country roads

My mother hasn't bubbled since the hooch showed up, is that bad? Is it supposed to bubble for the entire week or how ever long you keep it going?

Take care, Melissa.

Farmgirl # 352

~Think happy thoughts~



Thought this might make you all laugh. My husband came in a while ago and this thread above was on the screen. He said "WHAT on earth are you reading about???? He then proceeds to reread it to me REALLY slowly emphasising the words Mother and Hooch. I started laughing SO hard. Out of context it does seem really weird!

Farmgirl Sister #17
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www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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gramadinah
True Blue Farmgirl

3455 Posts

Diana
Orofino ID
USA
3455 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  08:12:23 AM  Show Profile
I have feed my starter again and will see what happens the bread was hard hard hard I gave it to the dogs and they have the cleanest teeth in the neighborhood.

I really want to do this Sour dough so I will keep trying.

Diana

Farmgirl Sister #273
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country roads
True Blue Farmgirl

442 Posts

Melissa
Shinglehouse Pa
USA
442 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  08:15:33 AM  Show Profile
GIGGLES! I guess it does sound pretty funny doesn't it? I have good news though, after I fed my mother (hehe) the bubbles came back. Thanks Ronna and Julie for the advice!

I was talking to one of our lab couriers from Buffalo, New York, he is really interested in the whole process of making sourdough bread. He even asked to see the article in the MJ mag.

Take care, Melissa.

Farmgirl # 352

~Think happy thoughts~
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  08:21:26 AM  Show Profile
Pass him the link Melissa and tell him we would love tohave him on our forum!

Farmgirl Sister #17
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www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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Buffalomary
True Blue Farmgirl

199 Posts

Mary
Caldwell ID
USA
199 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  08:29:08 AM  Show Profile
Hey ladies! I decided all is not lost on my first attempt. I bet it would be an almost lethal weapon, at least it would give someone a pretty good sized goose egg if it connects! It's round, so giving it a toss like a frisbee, just might work, huh? Hmmm... 'cuse me, think I'll give it a few practice throws...

Buffalomary
Farmgirl Sister #293

You can take the farmer's daughter off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the farmer's daughter!!

Please visit me at my blog: http://buffalomaryscorner.blogspot.com
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  09:09:20 AM  Show Profile
Those of you who are getting what you are calling bricks - can you help me with a few things. Tell me what kind (brand) of flour you are using, what type of water, what the average temp of your kitchen is and what type of vessel did you cook your bread in. Also let me know if you used a dry or wet towel to cover your mother. there must be some commonality that is causeing a problem. I feel like it is something simple that we are missing!

Farmgirl Sister #17
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Firemama
True Blue Farmgirl

1731 Posts

Amanda
Medical Lake WA
USA
1731 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  09:54:53 AM  Show Profile  Send Firemama a Yahoo! Message
I know this is probably a stupid question, but on the days you feed Mother, can we feed her regular white flour or does it need to be the Organic. Or is the Organic just to start her?

Mama to 2
FarmGirl# 20

People can only make you feel inferior with your permission, and you dont have my permission......

Dont let the chain of love end with you.....

http://myfarmdreams.blogspot.com/

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boonedesigns
Farmgirl in Training

10 Posts

sandy
danville OH
USA
10 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2009 :  10:00:29 AM  Show Profile
I am using the King Arthur Organic Unbleached Four in the blue bag. (i bought it at Krogers) For the first starter I used a bottle of distilled water. For my second starter I am using well water but we have a lot of sulphur in our water so I thought that might hurt it. My average kitchen temp is 68-71 degrees.

I put the rising dough over the mantle and fire place last sunday it was about 71-74 degrees in there. I started out covering it with a damp towel then took it off when the dough seemed to be getting flatter not rising. It sat there doing nothing except spreading slightly for over 10 hours.
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