When we lived in New Castle, Kentucky, this wonderful woman, Janet, baked the most amazing sour dough bread you’ve ever put into your mouth. Topped with some smoked cheddar, it would bring anybody to their knees begging for more. I visited her often at the local farmers market. In other words, I stalked her every time she was there and secretly hoped she would turn her head so I could grab the whole basket and run for home. Since moving to southern Kentucky, I have not found a “new Janet.”
So a friend posted on Facebook she had extra sourdough starter and asked if anybody could use it. I’ve been DYING to learn this craft so I enthusiastically responded (pretty much begged) – “Me! Me!” I picked it up from her house and then life came along. Hours after picking up this precious specimen of fermenting dough and bacteria, we got our sons’ crazy baseball schedule. My free evenings were put on hold. Until the end of November!! Oh sourdough, how long will you elude me?
This was almost 10 days ago. Three days ago, after having dreams of sinking my teeth into a fresh loaf of hot, homemade bread dripping with warm butter, I FINALLY found this amazing website explaining what to do with this prefect little baggie of starter. Oh my goodness, what have I gotten myself into? There are exactly HOW MANY steps to doing this!??! And there are feedings?! Whaaaaaa? You’re supposed to FEED this stuff (previously referred to as my precious specimen) twice a day? I’m lucky if I feed my kids twice a day!! (joking…….. kind of…..)
So I began feeding it. Holy cow – this stuff is like the Gremlins movie back in the 1980’s – you feed this stuff, it grows!! I mean, seriously, it doubles in size twice a day! It’s kind of like having my own pet. I feed it, check in on it, make sure it doesn’t explode out of the bowl I currently have it housed in, watch for bubbles to make sure it’s breathing…. just like some kind of weird pet. From a horror film. A low budget one.
Then yesterday. Oh my. I decided it was time to do something with this living, breathing pet of mine. Okay – that’s a lie. I HAD to do something with it because I feared it would take over my kitchen. And eat my children.
I revisited that really awesome website and watched videos for an hour. After regaining my strength from being so overwhelmed, I rolled up my sleeves and jumped in. I mixed this stuff and began to knead the bread. For 20 minutes. Whoa! No wonder my grandma could bring you down with one whack of a wooden spoon! She was so strong from kneading bread!! I was literally sweating through my clothing – my husband began chanting from the kitchen table “Come on, you can do it!” Yes, I have my own sourdough cheering squad. And he’s sexy as all get out….. be jealous.
After 20 minutes, I covered my pet and let it rise once more. Several hours later, I peeked at it. It
had doubled in size again. Ready for baking! I followed the instructions and 30 minutes later, the timer beeped. This glowing, lightly browned knob of warm, steaming bread came out of the oven. My beautiful little pet had been baked to perfection.
Then I ate it.
Go ahead, ask me if I feel guilty. Ha! Not one stinking bit! I’m even going to eat it’s children and grandchildren without remorse! And with butter and jelly.
And after I shot the images to go with this blog, I turn around to find this waiting…… I think he liked it.
Onward to more baking adventures!!