I have been really getting attached to my book, The Bread Book by Betsy Oppenneer. I just love this book, because things have turned out pretty well so far. Saturday’s experiment is no different, thankfully.
I haven’t done a Starter in about 25 years. I had one that was for a recipe called, “Friendship Bread”. I got it from my neighbor and baked it as much as we could stand it to eat . The best part of the recipe (as I vaguely can remember) is that you baked the bread in a small coffee can. I just loved the idea of such a cheap vessel making such wonderful bread. The bread was dark and riddled with raisins. Once you cooled it, it was eaten with a nice slather of cream cheese. It might be considered“quick” bread.
Since the weather is dipping into the 60s and 70s, I have the bug to bake. I get this way every fall. So feeling moved by the weather change I decided to bake a recipe from Betsy’s book. I picked the Sourdough Pumpkin Swirl Bread. It was easy to make up, but I did not understand the direction towards the end and I think now after seeing how things turned out, that I REALLY didn’t get it. I do now, so the next time I make this recipe, I am going to try it her way.
So if you have never done a sourdough starter you will find this so easy. I did manage to get this part right!
Yeast Sourdough Starter
By Betsy Oppenneer
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
¾ cup lukewarm water (90-100 degrees F)
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat flour
Mix the water and the yeast in a 2-qt glass bowl. Let the yeast “bloom” for 5 minutes.
Add the flour to the softened yeast and stir to combine. Any lumps will disappear during fermentation. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; leave a small opening along one edge or poke 5 or 6 holes with a toothpick. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Room temp should be around 65-80 degrees.
The starter will get runny as it begins to work. After 3 days it will have risen and fallen, will be bubbly, and will have a slightly sour aroma. The more you use and maintain a starter, the more pungent it becomes.
Use the starter in any recipe calling for sourdough starter. Use ½ cup of starter to make the sponge for the recipe and the remaining ½ cup to maintain the “mother”. Store, uncovered, in the refrigerator.
Here is what the starter looks like after 3 days of bubbling on the kitchen counter.
Stay tuned for the Sourdough Pumpkin Swirl Bread in a few days...