I have decided to add a podcast to the blog as another way to let you follow what we are doing in our pursuit of a Country Life. Occasionally I will still provide videos when the subject calls for it, but I will be able to accomplish more with this method. I hope you agree. If not, let me know!
Hopefully, you can avoid some of the mistakes we make, and share some of the successes.
One of the things I miss most from California, is Sourdough bread. Although, disputed, many stories credit the 49′ers during the California Gold Rush. Either way, I love my Sourdough bread.
In fact, after moving to Texas several years ago, it became one of the first things I wanted to master in order to satisfy my cravings for the hard crusted, chewy center Sour bread.
Local Supermarkets here do carry it, but it was disappointing after becoming used to such great Sourdough in the Bay Area of California.
The most notable is the Boudin Bakery which was founded by the Boudin family, master bakers who came to California from France and settled in San Francisco. Miners crowded this place every morning to get their fix of this sour tasting bread. It was an immediate hit.
More amazing is that they have been using the same “starter” culture for their bread called the “Mother Dough” since 1849! It is deemed so important that during the Great San Francisco Earthquake in 1906 it was it was heroically saved by Louise Boudin.
In case you have never heard of or tasted ( horrors!) the aroma or flavor of sourdough, let me explain some of the differences.
Unlike a traditional bread that is primarily yeast, water, flour and salt, then rolled and set aside to rise before baking, sourdough, however, needs a “starter” to get the dough started.
The “starter” is a concoction of yeast, water, flour, sometimes milk, and allowed to ferment at room temperatures for a few days. This becomes the starter after a thin covering of brewed liquid forms on the surface. The liquid is called “hooch”. Once you smell it, you will understand the name.
Then whenever you want to bake a loaf of sourdough, you take a little of the starter, mix it in with your bread recipe which is pretty standard, and bake it.
The starter keeps growing as it is an active organism. As a result, you do need to remember to feed the culture whenever you take out some starter for baking. Adding a 1 to 1 ration of flour and water or milk will work just fine to feed your starter.
You now have your own version of the Mother Dough. Keep it refrigerated, and even if you don’t bake regularly, feeding your starter every 2 weeks or so will keep it going.
Give it a try. Whether you like it or not, you’ll never forget it.
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