I’m on my sourdough kick again.

November 18, 2012 @ 2:54 pm | Filed under:

Been a while since my last go-round. This photo is day one, hour one. One cup whole wheat flour, half cup distilled water, per the instructions at the King Arthur Flour site (and lots of other places). However, after revisiting my old favorite sourdough site, Northwest Sourdough, I’ve decided to add a bit of pineapple juice. The acid in the juice (apple cider also works) encourages the growth of the right microorganisms and discourages the nasty ones.

Last time I tried starter from scratch, it bubbled along nicely at first and then fizzled on me. Before that, I’ve had great success with starters purchased from Northwest Sourdough and a King Arthur one given to me for Christmas by a friend (along with my beloved blue-and-white crock).

In between bouts of sourdough-ing, I had a good long run of regular breadmaking using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day method. (Many posts and pictures here.) We fell out of the habit when summer rolled around and none of us could bear the thought of turning on the stove. But the ABi5 recipes worked wonderfully for us, and it’s certainly a more economical path than storebought bread. I might resume the practice after Thanksgiving; right now the fridge is too full.

Lookie here, my old (way old) bread blog is still kicking around! I really should import those posts to this site one of these days.

    Related Posts


11 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jennifer says:

    Fun!! I go in phases too. It can become kind of a beating to keep it going. And then one day I found a gnat in my starter so that sort of took the wind out of my sails. :/
    I hope you’ll post again – I’ve never tried pineapple juice or whole wheat flour.

  2. Melissa Wiley says:

    The instructions I’m using call for whole wheat on day 1 and then all-purpose after that. I take this crazy glee in nurturing a starter—it’s almost like having pets, except, er, then you eat them. But I can only do it in the cooler months. In hot weather, I have to keep the crock in the fridge (once the starter is established, I mean) or else it goes moldly. But the GRUELING extra step of OPENING THE FRIDGE and TAKING OUT THE CROCK to feed it is just INSURMOUNTABLE. Lord, I’m lazy.

  3. Melissa Wiley says:

    Adding some links friends are sending me on Twitter:

    Capturing Wild Yeast to Make Sourdough—this is my GeekMom editor Kathy Ceceri. I see she used the pineapple juice method as well.

    Simply So Good: Crusty Bread Via Anne Marie Pace. This is a variation on that no-knead 12-hour method that made the rounds a couple of years ago—I’m swooning over her recipes for lemon/rosemary/gruyere and cranberry/orange/almond variants. OH MY.

  4. sarah says:

    I’ve always wanted to do this – but now I’m actually trying to remove bread as much as possible from my diet. I shall live viacariously through you. Please post pictures of lovely warm sourdough slices with butter melting gently upon their delicious surface.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Lol! I’m lazy too. Fortunately, unlike a pet (or child) there’s not as much guilt if you just let it die. It’s a winter thing here too which is kind of a shame because it stays so cool in the house that it takes ages to rise.

  6. Fanny Harville says:

    I captured wild yeast with a pot of water from boiled potatoes and made starter 7 years ago and we still have that same starter and bake with it weekly! We keep it in the fridge in a 1-qt canning jar. When we go to MN for a month in the summer we leave our house-sitters elaborate instructions on its care and feeding. It is amazing to us that we’ve kept it going for so long.

  7. Melissa Wiley says:

    7 years, Fanny! That’s positively Little-Housian. I’d love to hear about your method. And your baking recipes!

    Sarah, maybe you could make some starter to give as gifts? Just for the fun of making it. 🙂 Mine is all bubbly tonight and I’m practically giddy. I divided it into two batches, and it struck me a mason jar with a nice strong starter would make a perfect Christmas gift for a couple of my local homeschooling friends. If nothing else, we can consider it a good science experiment. 🙂

  8. Fanny Harville says:

    I just wrote up our method and recipes (for you!) here: http://fannyharvilleunschool.blogspot.com/2012/11/sourdough-and-other-strange-creatures.html My memory of capturing wild yeast with potato water was that it was not as complex as the method you are using here seems to be. Good luck! Sourdough is so delicious!

  9. Melissa Wiley says:

    Fanny, thanks so much! Can’t wait to read it!

  10. Isabelle Tonga says:

    Admiring the dedication you put into your website and detailed information you present. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.Plano Roofing Pros, 3420 14th Street, #103-C, Plano, TX 75074 – (214) 556-5050