As I was looking around Grace’s blog last year, I kept seeing all the fabulous things Grace does with her precious Ebenezer, her sourdough starter.
And I thought:
Exactly what kind of cowgirl doesn’t have a jar of sourdough starter?Can I actually claim to be a cowgirl, having never made a loaf of bread from my own starter?
Does Grace have a recipe for sourdough starter?
Will this sourdough starter really, truly be hard to kill, as Grace alleges?
Please let it be hard to kill, and easy to maintain.
What should I name it??
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
3 tablespoons instant potato flakes To make starter:
Mix water, sugar, yeast, and potato flakes. Let ferment on counter for two days. Then feed with starter feeder and continue with the instructions found in the bread recipe and/or links below.
½ c sugar
3 T potato flakes
1 c warm water
Grace says: Eb lives in the fridge until feeding time, which can be anywhere from 3 to 14 days after his last meal. (I’ve actually gone longer than two weeks without feeding him and he still did fine.) Upon feeding, he sits on the counter for about 8 hours, and then he’s ready to go.
After sourdough has been on the counter for 8 hours, proceed with any number of sourdough recipes. (Click this link to see all the things I’ve made with sourdough starter!)
The sourdough starter went off without a hitch. It sat and fermented and bubbled and stewed on the counter. I added the starter feeder, and it bubbled away some more. I decided to name it Virgil, which means “growing.”
When it was time, I decided to go ahead with the most basic recipe, Sourdough Bread. I followed Grace’s recipe to the letter. 12 hours later, the dough had risen, but certainly wasn’t overflowing out of my bowl like Grace’s was out of her trifle bowl. Perhaps my bowl was bigger, or something?
I decided I’d make just two loaves instead of three loaves like Grace made. I left the loaves in the oven for 8 hours, just like Grace recommends.
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sourdough starter
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons wheat germ
Roll it around so the entire ball becomes glorious, set it in a warm place, cover it with sprayed aluminum foil…and watch it grow for about 12 hours.
After 12 hours, punch down the dough once, right in its middle. Turn it out of the bowl onto a floured surface and knead it a few times.
(Although Grace divided her dough into three, I only felt like I had enough for two loaves this time).
Divide the dough into two or three even hunks, and knead each a bit more. Place the dough into greased loaf pans.
Place the pans in the oven, cover with sprayed foil, and leave to rise again for around 8 hours.
Grace says: Just FYI, the pans are put into the oven to rise so they don’t have to be moved later and risk collapsing.
After the second rise, remove the foil and bake the dough at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Preheat the oven before you start the timer!