Well, the short story is, I have a new bread starter!
And it works!
The somewhat longer story is…
My old starter is still in the refrigerator, waiting to be
revived after being dormant for so many months.
I got my old bread starter years and years ago from a
neighbor who brought it back for me from her aunt in Tennessee. It made awesome bread and rolls, very yeasty
and not sour at all.
Did I treat my starter right? Did I feed him regularly? No, I’m afraid I did not. And he always forgave me and woke up, happy
to have dinner.
But now it’s been so long that I don’t know if I can revive
my old bread starter. I was afraid that
this would happen someday. L
That’s the bummer thing about having a precious starter that
I don’t know how to make, and fearing that someday it will die and I wouldn’t
have it anymore. And I can’t get anymore
from my neighbor--she moved back home to Tennessee.
Well! I decided to
forget about the old bread starter for the time being, and to make a new one. I was given a bread starter recipe awhile
back from a fellow knitter who said that came from her German mother-in-law. I hadn’t ever tried making it before because
my own starter worked beautifully and I just didn’t need it yet.
Did I already own a good starter recipe and not even know
it? I had to try it. After all, I reasoned, what if this recipe
worked out just fine?? Then I wouldn’t even
have to worry about my old starter. It
wouldn’t be so precious after all. That
would be perfect!
So I set out to experiment..
I made the new bread starter last Tuesday, fed it according to the
instructions, and put him in the refrigerator for a few days. Then on Monday, I got it out, let it come up
to room temperature, fed it and made dough with it that evening.
Tuesday morning I couldn’t wait to see if my dough
It had! Yay! Success!
I shaped the dough into rolls and let them rise all
day. Then that evening I baked them and
of course brushed them with melted real butter when they came out of the oven!
Did they taste good?
Oh yes. Did they taste as good as
the rolls that I made with my Tennessee starter? We think so.
Without a side-by-side comparision, it’s hard to be precise. But did they taste “good enough” to be declared
a success? Oh yes.
And, if I’m reading things right on the Internet, as you use
it and it ages, the flavor should develop and grow deeper and better. So, yay!
Will I ever try to revive my original starter? Probably so.
I do enjoy a challenge. But at
least I don’t have to freak out if it never bubbles again. (a sign of it feeding) (the yeast expels carbon dioxide as it eats)
The main thing I really liked about my original bread starter
is… besides the end result, that is!
LOL -- the dough doesn’t stick to
my hands. It’s very easy to work with
because of that. I don’t have anything
on my hands after shaping 28 rolls except oil.
With my new starter, I had all sorts of dough stuck all over my
hands. What a mess.
And I think it may be because the old starter has me feed it
with a sugar+flour+instant potato flakes combination. The new one doesn’t have any flour in it,
which makes it very runny. And that just
has to change the ratio of things, adding something so watery when I
make the dough.
So I imagine someday (okay, okay, someday probably very
soon), I will make the new starter recipe with 1 c. flour added to it and see
if that does the trick.
For now, though, I’m very happy to be independent and not having
to rely on something that was given to me, something that I can’t get anymore.
Plus, when people would ask me for my bread recipe, I would
have to tell them, I’ll give it to you, but I’ll have to give you a cup of my
starter, too. (That works okay for
locals, but not so much for my long-distance friends.)
Now, I can just refer them to my blog. I plan on posting the recipe for both the sourdough
starter and the instructions on how to use it.
Oh, and even though the recipe steps are spread out over a
2-day period, they’re easy to do. And
the easiest part? You don’t have to do
ANY kneading! Zip, zilch, zero! Time does all the work for you.
And I began a new lace knitting project this week!
It’s the same pattern I knitted earlier this year, Fragile
Heart, but I’m changing 2 variables this time: I’m using a different yarn and I’m knitting a
different version of the same pattern:
I can’t wait to see how it turns out with the delicate
laceweight yarn that I’m using. Since I
had 3 skeins in my stash, I decided to use a KSH clone: Cascade Kid Seta in the color Imperial
It is also a mohair and silk blend, but also is 4%
wool. I don’t know why, but it is. Most mohair/silk yarns are just that, mohair
and silk. So I don’t know why they added
in some wool. But this yarn was on clearance (and still is) and was almost half-price,
so I was thrilled to try it out. It
comes in some very unique colors, but it’s also discontinued, so buy it now
while you still can. :)
I nearly went with a very soft lilac color, but decided that
that color looks extremely beautiful with silver-lined beads. And I had already decided that I’m going to
knit this shawl without beads this time, just to see how it looks when you
don’t have the distraction of those gorgeous beads and all you have is the
delicate lace. So, I think I’ll save that
yarn for my next beaded project.
I did all my prep and began knitting, but only got as far as
the garter stitch tab beginning. That little
bit gets you started (on this and most shawls), so I am all ready to get
knitting on the lace part next.
I just love beginning a new lace project and seeing it
unfold row after row. I have no idea how
this one is going to turn out.