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Mama Jewel
True Blue Farmgirl

435 Posts

Jewel
Sweet Peas Farmette, Bend, OR
USA
435 Posts

Posted - Jun 08 2010 :  08:12:34 AM  Show Profile
I ended up throwing my mother out (yikes! that sounds horrible... must find new name for my sourdough starter, lol). I'm still making my way through all the postings (only on page 19). Wish I had read about all the latter successes. I ended up baking my bread, but it never rose & was super dense & gooey, so I figured it went bad. Should've made croutons, like one of the ladies mentioned. Ack! Okay, so I'm powered up & ready to pull myself up by the bootstraps & get another batch going :-D

Love...always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor 13:7
Living Simply & Naturally
http://www.piecemama.etsy.com
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Jun 08 2010 :  09:59:14 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Julie-

I would recommend waiting at least a two week cycle before attempting bread so all the "yeasty beasties" get a chance to increase their population. In the mean time I would suggest making sour dough pancakes and biscuits (things that don't need a lot of lift).

Hope that helps!

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
www.allergyjourneys.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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Mama Jewel
True Blue Farmgirl

435 Posts

Jewel
Sweet Peas Farmette, Bend, OR
USA
435 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2010 :  8:49:06 PM  Show Profile
Alee, lol-"yeasty beasties" (hee hee). Okie doke... this weekend it's sourdough pancakes then!

Love...always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor 13:7
Living Simply & Naturally
http://www.piecemama.etsy.com
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MarciaJeansFarmette
Farmgirl in Training

31 Posts

Marcia
Gerber CA
USA
31 Posts

Posted - Jun 20 2010 :  8:13:37 PM  Show Profile
Last week as I put my loaves of bread into the oven to rise I realized I had forgotten to put the salt in! It was edible but not for sharing. This week I remembered everything and it was the best rise and bread I've made. I'm now using Montana unbleached white flour from Wal-Mart so I'm pleased! Waiting for a report from the sharee!

Marcia
Farmgirl #956


Learning as I go...
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coconutcakes
True Blue Farmgirl

52 Posts

Emily
Summerfield NC
USA
52 Posts

Posted - Aug 03 2010 :  11:13:24 AM  Show Profile
I tried to read as many of the posts/replies on this thread as I could. . . impossible! Is there a "summary" post/reply of collective tips/encouragements?

I wanted to encourage those who haven't had luck with getting their mother going. I tried twice back in the late winter learned a few things:

1. I didn't know what I was doing the first couple of times. . . saw hooch and a blah looking mother under the hooch and assumed mother was dead. Didn't realize that hooch was a sign that the yeast had consumed the "sugar" and made the hooch. So this third time, when I saw hooch, I thought, "Good, yeast is there." (I also poured off some of the hooch, too much for my taste, on Day 4.) Looking at photos of others' starters at various stages has helped a lot, but I realized my starter may just be "slower" to come alive than others'. . . See #2.

2. Realized that I needed to be patient. I was seeing bubbling, but it didn't look like a lot of bubbling. I looked around online at photos of other wild caught yeast sourdough mother starters and realized that many of them use pineapple juice (something about the citric acid inhibiting bacteria growth) and followed similar but slightly different procedures and timelines. My Day 7 using King Arthur 100% Organic Whole Wheat flour and Le Bleu bottled water in glass or ceramic container with light cotton towel on top was like their Day 4 of white flour, pineapple juice and water in plastic, lidded containers. Today is Day 8 for me, and my mother is really coming alive! I found one website that told me there were about 4 stages to sourdough, so I think remembering that helps. Your starter may just take longer getting to the next stage, but don't give up.

3. I've learned that my mother can handle a little extra feeding. . . that hooch, according to those in the know here, means my mother is hungry. I added a tablespoon or two throughout the day if I thought she was hungry. That seems to have helped.

4. When the kitchen is calm, no cooking or cleaning going on, I've left the towel off for a bit to capture extra yeast.

5. My second attempt at the starter last winter ended with mold growing. So this time, I decided to change my mother's living arrangements every couple of days. I carefully pour/scrape her into a clean glass jar with a wooden spoon and cover her with a new clean cotton towel every two days.

It's Day 8, and I have chosen not to bake yet. If she's bubbling as well as she was this morning, I may be able to bake in the next few days!

Emily

"After a long period abroad nothing could make me more homesick or emotional than an American magazine ad of a luscious layer cake, except one, and that was a pictured lemon pie." Irma Rombauer, Joy of Cooking (1943)
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coconutcakes
True Blue Farmgirl

52 Posts

Emily
Summerfield NC
USA
52 Posts

Posted - Aug 05 2010 :  3:01:01 PM  Show Profile
Just wanted to note that I baked my bread today (Day #10, I believe), and it turned out fine. I think the mother needs to continue growing in her wild yeastiness, but she's getting there. I didn't do anything fancy to my loaf, just plopped her in a cast iron skillet. She did spread, but after about 5 to 6 hours of rising, she had a nice consistency. She had an after-tang, just like sourdough (imagine that, haha)! The bread was really delicious with some local honey drizzled on it. . .

I noticed that about Day #8, the odor of my mother went from rather stinky to smelling grainy, nutty and well, more appealing. I also noticed that if I put my hand close to my mother down in the jar I have her in currently, you can feel warmth rising from her. Pretty neat!

MaryJane and company (who worked on this), thank you!

Emily

"After a long period abroad nothing could make me more homesick or emotional than an American magazine ad of a luscious layer cake, except one, and that was a pictured lemon pie." Irma Rombauer, Joy of Cooking (1943)
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coconutcakes
True Blue Farmgirl

52 Posts

Emily
Summerfield NC
USA
52 Posts

Posted - Aug 20 2010 :  11:31:46 AM  Show Profile
A few weeks later, and my mother is still doing great (still using King Arthur organic whole wheat flour and Le Bleu bottled water). While I know it's not necessary, I also still change out her bowl/jar every 3 to 5 days.

She has been on vacation with me for a week. Did great.
I am finding that our family is too large for the one small loaf, so I am in the process of increasing mother. . . hope it works!

Today, I have made a delicious Chocolate Sourdough Cake from The Nourishing Gourmet using my mother. See this link: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2010/07/chocolate-sourdough-cake.html

"After a long period abroad nothing could make me more homesick or emotional than an American magazine ad of a luscious layer cake, except one, and that was a pictured lemon pie." Irma Rombauer, Joy of Cooking (1943)
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traildancer
True Blue Farmgirl

485 Posts

Loyce
Glide OR
USA
485 Posts

Posted - Oct 01 2010 :  10:15:33 AM  Show Profile
I restarted my starter (?!) and made pancakes last weekend. Nice, but I confess that I prefer my mother's old recipe from Alaska Magazine, I think. Anyway, yesterday I made bread and for the first time, the dough raised really well in the pan! But when I took it out of the oven, the finished loaf was only half the height of when I first put it in. The texture and flavor are great, but what happened?

I just remembered that I forgot to take the muffin tin out of the oven!

The trail is the thing.... Louis L'Amour
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Oct 14 2010 :  07:09:24 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Hi ladies!

It sounds like you are all on the path with the sour dough. I love sour dough bread!

Emily- on one of these pages I gave the math formula on how to properly increase your starter. I'll see if I can find it.

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
www.allergyjourneys.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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pinkwitchy~farmgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

230 Posts

Beverly
Lee's Summit MO
USA
230 Posts

Posted - Nov 08 2010 :  5:57:00 PM  Show Profile
OK....preparing for Homemade Bread Day the 17th... For mother, what size should the ceramic bowl be? (cups?) I don't want it to be too small & I don't want to take up more counter space than necessary. You know, kitchen counters are PRIME real estate ;)

Thanks for your help!


Farmgirl Sister 1575* * * It is often the bend in the road that makes life worth the drive * * *
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2010 :  9:19:20 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
So basically you are taking the times you want to bake per week and times in the base feeding amounts.

So the base feeding amount is 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup water. So say you want to bake 1 times a week. Everyday but Saturday when Mother doesn't get fed- you will feed

Base amounts x baking amounts = feeding amount

so if you are only baking once per week the equation looks like this:

(1/3 flour x 1 baking) + (1/4 flour x 1 baking)= feeding 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup water

If you wanted to bake 5 times a week the equation on how much to feed every day but Saturday would look like this:

(1/3 flour x 5) + (1/4 water times 5)= 1 2/3 cups flour plus 1 1/4 cup water.

If any of this confuses anyone, I would be more than happy to do the math for you. Just let me know how many times you want to bake each week. And remember, if you are changing how much you want to make, you need to give your starter a week to build up the volume.



Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
www.allergyjourneys.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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MTNSunshine
True Blue Farmgirl

111 Posts

Sunny
Tollhouse CA
USA
111 Posts

Posted - Nov 27 2010 :  10:33:07 PM  Show Profile
I'm so excited! The kids and I are starting our "mother" tomorrow. I hope it's not too cold in our house for her.

Proud FarmGirl #914 ;o)
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pinkwitchy~farmgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

230 Posts

Beverly
Lee's Summit MO
USA
230 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2010 :  5:02:26 PM  Show Profile
Sunny, I started mine about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I've been trying to read all the posts but have only made it to about page 60 :) My 1st week baking.....didn't turn out so well, the 2nd week was definitely better! I'm thinking that the 3rd or 4th week will be the pay-off! I'm pretty sure it's because "Hoochie" (my mothers name) wasn't mature (old) enough. As time goes by, I can see & smell a difference...Mmmmmmm!

Good luck to you & your kiddos! Post to let us know how it goes :)


Farmgirl Sister 1575* * * It is often the bend in the road that makes life worth the drive * * *
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MTNSunshine
True Blue Farmgirl

111 Posts

Sunny
Tollhouse CA
USA
111 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2010 :  11:53:56 PM  Show Profile
So our beloved mother is tucked in for the night. What an exciting day it was here! Now if I can just keep Kai and Birdie from not over feeding her while I'm not looking we will be in great shape" ;o) I think I'm going to try another start tomorrow with our well water and see how she does. I didn't want to take any chances with our first "mother" so I used bottled h2o. Beverly was your first weeks edible? I'm thinking I should just warn the kids and tell them the first few weeks might end up bread for the chickens. :)

Proud FarmGirl #914 ;o)
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pinkwitchy~farmgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

230 Posts

Beverly
Lee's Summit MO
USA
230 Posts

Posted - Nov 29 2010 :  07:40:53 AM  Show Profile
The 1st week had very little, if any, rise. You could "eat" it, but not much flavor and pretty hard/dense...great for your chickens though. The 2nd week had more rise and more flavor. I'll be baking again Thursday....anxious to see how it goes.
To keep mine warm at night I have it sitting on the stove top, elevated a little and right under the range light...works as heat source & great night-light :)
For the 2nd week I started heating the water(distilled)for feeding, for a few seconds in the microwave. I also put some of my water in a spray bottle & spray down my towel several times a day...sometimes warming it in the microwave too.


Farmgirl Sister 1575* * * It is often the bend in the road that makes life worth the drive * * *
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12876 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12876 Posts

Posted - Nov 30 2010 :  3:24:33 PM  Show Profile


I pulled my mother out of the deep-freeze just before Thanksgiving. She'd been hibernating there for two months! Within a couple hours of thawing she was bubbling away again.

Hubby likes a bagel every morning so I'm making them in a Lodge 7-hole drop biscuit pan. If I take them out when they've just hit 195 degrees internal temperature (ie center "bagel"), they have the texture, moistness, and taste of a bagel EXACTLY, minus the annoying hole that drips butter and honey everywhere. If I want them to taste and perform more like a artisan dinner roll, I leave them in longer to give it that distinct old-world crust (my preference).

The vintage oval pan in the photo I use to make a kind of lofty focaccia, chock full of kalamata olives, chopped garlic, and rosemary. I love a slice spread with cream cheese or browned and then dipped into olive oil for eating with soup.

These two batches raised 5 hours in my kitchen in a warm spot. Once in the oven, the bread always shoots up another inch, so I've learned to plan for that so my biscuits don't "grow" together once I pop them into the oven for that second speedy rise.

It makes me happy to have my fairy bread mother with me again. With winter in full force, I intend to keep her busy all winter.

May all your breads be exactly the way you dream them!


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

230 Posts

Beverly
Lee's Summit MO
USA
230 Posts

Posted - Nov 30 2010 :  4:07:47 PM  Show Profile
MaryJane, those look dee-lish! Good idea about the "holeless" bagel...will have to give that a try!

{{{hugs}}}
Beverly


Farmgirl Sister 1575* * * It is often the bend in the road that makes life worth the drive * * *
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MTNSunshine
True Blue Farmgirl

111 Posts

Sunny
Tollhouse CA
USA
111 Posts

Posted - Dec 01 2010 :  09:43:07 AM  Show Profile
Another question for you girls, in the first week of my mothers life is it ok to wet the towel covering her? She seems to be developing a pretty thick crust.

Proud FarmGirl #914 ;o)
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urban chickie
True Blue Farmgirl

734 Posts

Catherine
Niles IL
USA
734 Posts

Posted - Dec 01 2010 :  10:05:10 AM  Show Profile
Absolutely! In drier climates, it might be necessary to keep the towel moist.

Catherine
Farmgirl #1370
City Girl By Birth,
Suburbanite By Location,
Farmgirl at Heart
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MTNSunshine
True Blue Farmgirl

111 Posts

Sunny
Tollhouse CA
USA
111 Posts

Posted - Dec 01 2010 :  10:27:07 AM  Show Profile
Thank you so much Catherine. My mother had bubbles this morning!

Proud FarmGirl #914 ;o)
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MTNSunshine
True Blue Farmgirl

111 Posts

Sunny
Tollhouse CA
USA
111 Posts

Posted - Dec 07 2010 :  9:05:25 PM  Show Profile
ok so bake day #1 didn't go so well. The bread didn't rise...... At all. But I'm not giving up! I'm going to keep nurturing and loving my bread mother and keep at it till I get a beautiful piece of bread! ;o)

Proud FarmGirl #914 ;o)
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pinkwitchy~farmgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

230 Posts

Beverly
Lee's Summit MO
USA
230 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2010 :  05:55:40 AM  Show Profile
Sunny, good for you! Your 1st week sounds like mine :) I didn't give up either....and each week just keeps getting better! This will be my 5th week baking & I'm sure it's gonna be great...last week's looked great & was super yummy! I bake 1 full loaf & 4 mini loaves...we use the minis to snack on & the loaf is for sandwiches, etc.




Farmgirl Sister 1575* * * It is often the bend in the road that makes life worth the drive * * *
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2010 :  08:59:40 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Sunny- since these are the wild yeasts and not the commercially grown fast yeasts it can take a while for the yeasts to fully mature in the mother. How old is your mother? It took me about 3 weeks of solid feeding and growing the mother before she really did rises like we have been conditioned to expect with the commercial stuff. Hopefully your next baking will rise for you!

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
www.allergyjourneys.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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MTNSunshine
True Blue Farmgirl

111 Posts

Sunny
Tollhouse CA
USA
111 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2010 :  10:55:35 PM  Show Profile
She was only a week old Sunday. She was much more bubbly this morning. Can I keep feeding her and skip this saturdays bake? Thanks so much for all the info and support ladys it really means a lot to me! oxox

Proud FarmGirl #914 ;o)
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urban chickie
True Blue Farmgirl

734 Posts

Catherine
Niles IL
USA
734 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2010 :  11:01:17 PM  Show Profile
A general rule is that in order to raise bread well, a starter should be able to double in size within 12 hours after feeding. If it isn't doing that, keep feeding it for a while more. But be sure it isn't doubling, then collapsing on itself. Different cultures from different areas have different microflora, and act at different speeds. I have a Russian culture that moves quickly but my Oregon based one is slower.....

Catherine
Farmgirl #1370
City Girl By Birth,
Suburbanite By Location,
Farmgirl at Heart
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