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Mar 20, 2013 07:28 PM


Hi all. I've always said that I'm an entre cook but if you want something baked, find someone else. Well, I bit the bullet and decided that, at nearly 70 yrs, I should give it a shot. My first attempt was menza menza, and after a slice, I gave it to the birds. It's winter here in Iowa, and they were really, really hungry.

So I decided to make sour dough starter from scratch. And I did. I fed it daily - 1 cup of lukewarm water, 1 cup of all purpose flour. I did that for nearly 2 weeks, keeping the plastic bowl in a cold oven w/the light on.

A couple of days ago, I decided to change proportions to 1/2 C of lukewarm water and 1 C of flour. Did that for a couple of days. Overall, I had a starter of 2 weeks. After I fed it for the last time, I tasted some of the gruel off the spoon and, yup, it was definitely sour.

Today, I finally got my courage up and decided to bake "sour french bread." Actually, plaudits to me, because I've been thinking of doing it for the last 4 days but kept chickening out.

So, I followed an online recipe, put the dough hook on my KA mixer, followed the directions (except I didn't add powdered yeast to dry stuff, but proofed it in 1 C of warm water, not milk), added enough bread flour to have the mess pull away from the bowl (it called for UP TO 3-3/4C of bread flour and I used 3-1/4 C - used some of the remainder in the kneading) and went for it.

OMG!!! It turned out wonderfully!! The taste of the bread was sooooo much better than the sour dough rolls I bought from HyVee (I live in IA) and I couldn't believe it! I CAN BAKE! Yup, the "sour" dough wasn't, but when I read that sourdough starter has been passed down for generations and there are starters out there of 200 yrs. or so, I figure that, at 2 weeks,it's an embryo starter, but the bread was fabulous!

I just wanted to let you all know, as I've always maintained that as a baker I make a good plumber.

Pat from Iowa

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  1. Good for you, Pat! Sourdough can be a pain in the ass, but when it works, it's great.

    1. Well congratulations! Keep that starter alive!

      1. You weren't just brave enough to create actually tasted it straight up off a spoon. :) Good for you!

        1. Thanx you guys!! I'm a trucker, so I fed the starter today, let it do most of its bubbly stuff and put it in 2 Mason jars and in the fridge. I thought about freezing it in bags, but thought I'd start with the fridge.

          I forgot to ask: Originally I fed it 1 to 1 (water/flour), then switched to 1/2 C lukewarm water to 1 C of flour. Does that make a difference?

          Thanx, PAT

          1 Reply
          1. re: caiatransplant

            1/2 cup water to 1 cup flour is approximately the ratio in the Bouchon Bakery book.

          2. Congrats! I tried to make sourdough from scratch many years ago and failed miserably. I imagine your friends and family will benefit from your baking now.