the new year starter

>> January 07, 2010

i think it was 2 years ago that i saved a glass jar from used up tomato sauce (about the same time we stopped buying tomato sauce and started making our own) to make sourdough starter. i carried the glass jar with me to my sister's house where i stayed for the summer and it stayed unfilled. it migrated with me to my townhouse, where it emptily watched me complete my junior year of college. i wrapped it up in newspaper (probably a remnant of my crossword puzzle habit addiction serious, life-consuming problem) and brought it back to vp's house, determined to fill it during my second summer there.

yesterday morning, i got the incredible urge to fill the jar. i thought about it, sitting idly, waiting for me to put some yeast and water inside to grow happy, yummy bread (so to speak). i also thought about how i had no idea where it ended up. i vaguely remember not bringing it back to school with me, but i also vaguely remember seeing it in my baking box... i searched the black-hole of all the crap that's fallen off my moving truck on trips between school, summer housing, and breaks. to no avail, my poor little jar is gone.

luckily, my father has an array of jars full of old paint from our various houses on a shelf in the basement. as if just waiting for me to come, one sat clear and clean between the "taupe 03" and "light summer forest 06."  happiness.

bread (4 of 4)

after doing some googling, i came across a few pretty solid, reputable, well-tested recipes. i combined parts, but the general form is based mostly off of this wild yeast sourdough starter, using regular unbleached flour instead of whole grain or rye. we had a spiral ham with grilled pineapple on sunday, so i strained out some of the juice from the leftover pineapple.

bread (3 of 4)

today and tomorrow, i will add another 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of flour to sally (yes, i've named her sally). on saturday (day 4), i am supposed to stir it down (assuming it does something), reserve 1/4 cup of the glop, and mix that with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup more flour. i should repeat that step on days 5, 6, and 7. by that point, i will be able to store it in the fridge and feed it (day 4-like) once a week! i'm very excited. progress will be noted.

before i made sally, i tried out the basic white dough recipe from the dough book i mentioned earlier. easiest dough, and i used the easiest rolling. mine looked a little bit like naked mole rats when they baked, but they tasted fantastic!

bread (2 of 4)

thoroughly pleased. and, BONUS, these rolls fit in the new "12g of sugar a day" thing that mom and i are trying out. apparently you have to limit your carbs, too, but if you're going to make me stop eating cookies and fruit (FRUIT! what kind of diet eliminates fruit!) and my kashi go lean, i will need bread. happy, happy bread.

=) please think good thoughts about sally! she would like to be very yeasty. and tall. very tall.


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