Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Feeding my Baby

As I'm sure you're aware, I have made my own sourdough starter to use for when I'm making sourdough bread, pancakes, rolls, pretzels etc.  The great thing about sourdough is that it's survived the test of time.  There's starters out there that you can actually purchase that have been passed down since before my great, great grandma was born. 

A sourdough starter is actually a living thing, pretty crazy eats, it burps to release waste and it can die.  On the plus side, a starter is a pretty hearty little creature, it can be at the brink of death and brought back to life with some tender loving care, but it's best to just feed it when it needs it, kind of like your kids. 

I started my starter very simply, with just flour and water and then I waited.  That's basically the gist of it.  I made my starter in September of 2012 and have been using it since then.  Cooking with it, feeding it, sharing it with anyone who wants some.  So, long story short, I'm going to show you how I feed my baby and you can watch her grow a little bit too:)

The first thing you want to do is decide how much of her you want to keep (I know I keep calling my starter a her, I'm positive she's female because she can be temperamental from time to  I usually keep around 125-130 grams.  The reason for this is because you're either going to throw the excess out, I actually flush mine, its supposed to be very good for your septic system, at least that's what my gramma told me, or use it to make something or give it to a friend.  If you don't do any of the above mentioned things, buy an empty swimming pool because you'll be able to very quickly fill it with sourdough starter, no joke!!

 So, this is what I've decided to keep

Once that's been decided, I feed my baby equal parts warm water and flour.  Of course, I use my trusty kitchen scale to do this.  If I'm off by a gram or two or five, I don't worry too much, like I said, a sourdough starter is a pretty strong creature. It's when the ratios get really out of whack that funky stuff starts happening.

After I've added the flour and water, I give her a really good stir to incorporate oxygen into the mix.  Hey, a girl's gotta breathe, right.

I mentioned this in my post about making sourdough bread but, just in case you haven't read that...take note that I don't use anything metal while I'm feeding my girl.  For some reason, sourdough and metal DO NOT go hand in hand.

After giving her a good stir, I cover my girl with some cheesecloth and use the screw lid for the jar to secure it on, you could just as easily use an elastic.  I've used plastic tupperware containers before too, but just to let you know, as she eats, she burps releasing "gas", it'll pop the top off.  If you're using plastic tupperware with a lid that will just pop off it's no big deal.  If you've tightly closed it with something not quite as giving, I've read stories of explosions and sourdough starter coating everything in the nearby vicinity.  Just a word to the wise on that one. 

1:45 pm

I'm sure you see the pretty purple elastic, I put that there so I can compare the original level as she grows.  So, for "scientific" purposes...I fed her at 1:45pm, that's when this picture was taken.  We'll see what she does over the next few hours.

It's only been about 40 minutes,
but my little girl is already growing up.

2:25 pm
Wow, she's on a roll today!! I think I might end up with an
overflow if she keeps going at this rate:)

Look at all of those bubbles, that's my little girl hard at work!!

Just in case, I've put a plate under my growing girl:) As you can see,
she's very active.  If a starter can double itself in 8-12 hours
that's considered good, looks like my girl is off the charts right now.

4:15 pm

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