Monday, September 03, 2007

September 3rd, 2007

I have started a new project this month, it is one that I have had great success with in the past. I am hoping I will have the same success again. What is it??? His name is Herman. And every living thing has to have a name.
So please meet Herman, the Sourdough Starter!


It is something that you must be committed to and not to forget in the back of the fridge or else he will take on a life totally of his own. I am hoping since Brian has gotten into bread making that he may well find this type of bread making interesting too.
You start your Herman out with:
2 cups of a good quality bread flour, I am using Carrs Strong White
to this add, 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of yeast that is just 1 and a partial packets, mix together with a pinch of salt in a very large glass bowl. Use glass, ceramic or plastic as Metal will react to your starter. And with a wooden spoon stir in 2 cups of lukewarm water. Cover with a tea towel(I also used some plastic wrap under the tea towel as Herman is a bit messy just starting out). This is his second tea towel!!! He will raise quite a bit the first day.



Leave at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, stirring him at least 3 times a day. He will be ready to use when he has that yeasty sour type of smell to him. To keep him happy, put him into a glass or plastic container with a lid that has a small hole to let the gases escape. You don't want a mess all over the inside of your refrigerator. To keep him going keep back at least 1/2 cup of starter(Herman) and then to this add 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of luke warm water. Ever so often I will add a teaspoon or so of sugar to help feed the yeast. Keep out over night as before stiring down and covering and then refrigerate the next day. As long as you remember to feed him at least once a week then your Herman should have a happy and long life and take on a tangy flavour the older he gets. The only thing to remember is that if he should turn Pink or Orange throw him out as there is a harmful bacteria invading him so you will need to start again. Your starter should have a nice pleasant yeasty smell to it.
I will include recipes for using Herman as the weeks progress and when he is ready to use. I did find a really nice web site yesterday that has some different starters and bread recipes that may well be worth a try. Angie's Recipes
As soon as I locate some rye flour I plan to try the grape starter Wild Grape Sourdough starter.

I haven't been up to very much adventurous cooking lately other than Herman. The weather has turned again with a bit of a nip in the air and I am having to return back to work this week so it has been some comfort food cooking here. That and I am still desperately trying to use up what is in the freezer. So I made a venison stew the other day. I had some venison cubes in the freezer so first I thawed them out the night before. Then browned them in a bit of olive oil with a little seasoned flour. Deglazed the pan with a bit of brandy and some beef stock. Added some onions, carrots and potatoes. Put the meat and veg into the crockpot and thickened the gravy a bit by reducing and adding some Bisto. For seasoning I used Salt, Pepper, juniper berries, a bay leaf and some thyme. Put on high for about 6 hours and then right before serving I boiled up some egg noodles.

Very filling!!!
I also invented a dish, but that is needing some fine tuning before I post it here.
I did make a Redbeans and rice casserole too. Just take some cooked long grain rice, mix in some drained and rinsed tinned kidney beans, Chili beans would have been better. Mix with some sauteed onion, celery chopped tomatoes and place in a greased casserole dish. Layered with some cheddar cheese and bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a hot oven. Nice filling comfort food.


Jingles wanting Breakfast in bed!!


Cheeky waiting patiently for the next meal to start!!

15 comments:

Patricia Scarpin said...

I gotta get over my fear of trying to make sourdough - I think I should try it soon, Pat, and use your hints as my guide!

Crafty Gardener said...

Sourdough is one of my favourtie breads ... I don't make mine though but buy it fresh from the market.
Congrats on another award for you.

Cynthia said...

Pat, I had heard about "Herman" when I read Anthony Bourdain's book - Kitchen Confidential but it is only now that I truly understand what it meant :) I love sour dough bread and I'm sure that it will go well with that venison stew you made. :)

Pat said...

Thanks all!!!!
Patricia, honest it is easy once you get a good starter going. And it does take on a lovely taste the older it becomes.

Thanks Linda!!! I am sure you could make some. Going to give it and the breadmachine a go soon. So that has to be really easy!!!

Cynthia, glad I could help clear up a mystery. One of the best batches of cinnamon rolls I ever made was with Sourdough. I just love the stuff!!!

Pat said...

Thanks all!!!!
Patricia, honest it is easy once you get a good starter going. And it does take on a lovely taste the older it becomes.

Thanks Linda!!! I am sure you could make some. Going to give it and the breadmachine a go soon. So that has to be really easy!!!

Cynthia, glad I could help clear up a mystery. One of the best batches of cinnamon rolls I ever made was with Sourdough. I just love the stuff!!!

Cottage Smallholder said...

Thanks Pat, I love sourdough bread and will have a go at making my own Herman now I have your recipe.

Kelly-Jane said...

Great pics, and cheeky is just gorgeous!

Kelly-Jane said...

... and Jingles too!

Pat said...

Thanks Fiona and best of luck, I know you will enjoy once you get into it. I must check on mine today. Will try to get some bread made tomorrow with mine.

Thanks Kelly Jane!!! They are pretty cute!!! Sorry but biased mom here. :)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I left a comment on Tanna's blog (my kitchen in half cups) about starters just today. Hubby and the boys make the bread in our house and we've had chats about starters as I'd love them to give it a go. The science part alone would be really educational. Don't want to push it though as I think it's lovely that they make bread together without me 'helping'...

Pat said...

Amanda, I just love Sourdough. It is something I bet the boys would enjoy doing.

Miz Smoochie Lips said...

Oh Wow Pat! I would love to have some of your sourdough starter! I know there's a way to dry some of the starter spread thin on a sheet of saran wrap and mail flakes. LOL. Wouldn't the postal system be confused about that one! ha!
But I am now going to have to get some starter started of my own now that you've got me craving it!

Pat said...

Thanks Tia, I didn't realize you could dry it. I did know you could freeze it. Plan on making some bread today and will blog that later. Best of luck on your Starter!!!

wellunderstood said...

you've inspired me! when i return from my vacation, sourdough-ville, here i come!!

Pat said...

WU good luck and let me know how you get on with it. Can't wait for you to get back!!!