Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Blessings Homestead: Sourdough Starter

Linking to Homestead Revival Barn Hop

I have a dream of living on our very own homestead.  I'm not an animal lover, don't even like your dog licking my hands.  But the idea of living a self-sustaining life off the land really appeals to me.  When I was investigating options in making my own kefir, my brother joked that I was going all "Little House on the Prairie".  I responded by saying, "I guess I got to be who I always wanted to be!"

Sometimes a dream seems like too much to accomplish, and I can get overwhelmed and give up before anything truly gets off the ground.  An all or nothing kind of girl. Not this time, though.  I've got plans, some specific, some not so much, nothing down on paper or in the planner.  But every week I want to add to my list of skills or to my pantry or to my outdoor living spaces that promote homesteading and sustainability.

Sourdough:  what a place to start!  This isn't the first thing I tried, but it was one of the more interesting, on-going projects that I've started.

First, I created a starter.  Following some instructions, I placed 2 Tbl of rye flour and 2 Tbl water in a jar and stirred.  I added this amount again every 12 hours for the next 10 days.  It began to get very bubbly and yeasty smelling and started growing, just like it was supposed to.  Why does this happen?  I've used and made Amish Friendship sourdough before, but that had sugar and yeast in it.  This only has water and flour.  Apparently, our air has wild yeasts floating around in it, and they get pulled into the flour and water, creating a ferment.  On the top of my jar, I used a rubber band to hold a coffee filter over it, so air could pass through, but not dirt and bugs.

Here's a video that explains the process really well:

This lady's site has so much about sourdough as well as many other traditional foods that I would like to investigate further.

Why would I want to go to all this work for bread, when I could just pop ingredients into my bread maker and be done with it?  Or just buy it from the store?  Because I wanted the challenge.  Because I like the taste of it. And because it's healthier. 

It's healthier because of the long process it takes to soak the flour and get the dough ready to bake.  This process breaks down the gluten and makes it more digestible.  It also frees up more of the good stuff--the good bacteria, minerals and vitamins to be freed up to used by your body. Keepers of the Home gives some easy to read reasons as well as some recipes.

I think my starter is off to a good start and I've made a few things, like pancakes and biscuits, and even bread!  I may have baked bread before my starter was mature enough to handle the task, but my husband and I thought it was delicious!  I didn't care for the pancakes, and the biscuits were pretty good. I will experiment some more and post results.

Look but Don't Take

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I love Jesus with all my heart and a truth & Grace seeker. I married the love of my life in 2000 and I've been blessed with 5 lovies that I homeschool. Join me as I blog about my interests.


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