Friday, March 23, 2012

Re-activating Sourdough

No, this is not sourdough, I'll get to that but first I want to show you this dried pumpkin. Some of you may recall that I dried zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, beets, and carrots to put into noodles, soups, and maybe even tortillas but I've not gotten around to making the tortillas. Now, I've added pumpkin. Exactly what I'll do with it, I'm not sure but this busy brain will think of something. 

To make the powder I first baked one of the last pumpkins from last falls crop, dried the pulp, put that into the blender and then sifted the larger rock hard pieces out. Using such a pumpkin meant it had lost a great deal of moisture over past months and I knew I would have a lower yield of usable product.  Have you any suggestions for it's use. I've lots and lots of frozen pulp in the freezer and I can always dry more.
I have two sourdough starts in the refrigerator but years ago I grew mixed up which was which. One is a start from a miner dating back over a 120 years ago. The other is over 10 years old and came from California, started from some grapes.

Originally they had a subtle difference in flavor but I can't remember what that was. You see my starters have a tendency to sit in the refrigerator for months before I drag them out and liven them up. Too many things to do and to many irons in the fire keep me from being concentrating on any one thing. So with a renewed urge to make whole grain breads I pulled out both starts and fed them a little water, a little unbleached four, and a little sugar. Measurements - what are those, I just dump in a little this and that until it looks good.

This start sat longer in the refrigerator and had a very strong, sour smell. To tame down the bite, I fed it and then the next day I dumped the majority of the start out. Then I added more flour and water. By doing this several days in a row, the starts sourness was diminished. After the first day, I didn't add sugar just flour and water. The adding of sugar gives the start a boost with a quick fuel for the natural yeast in the start.  

The second start, more milder, I didn't throw any start away, just added flour and water.
On the third day, it at first didn't appear to be as active but when stirred wow. When your start looks like this, it is ready to use.
To make bread, I added a drizzle of oil, 2 eggs, a small handful of sugar, a little sugar, and a tiny pinch of yeast.  Then I added flour.
The tarter start I made white bread.
The milder start, I ground some Kamut, thinking it was perfect for sourdough since the elastic strands are more delicate and can't tolerate as much kneading as a modern wheat. I also added some wheat gluten.
Sourdough breaks down the phytic acids in the wheat opening up the nutrition for digesting. To know if your bread has risen enough, poke two fingers into the dough.
If the dough has doubled in size, the indents will remain. If not, the holes will soon go away.
I'll let you know how they turned out next week. For now I'm ready for bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment