Adventures in Sourdough

We have decided to make home-made (I mean really home-made) sourdough bread.

Ryan got the book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods and it has fueled our passion for fermentation!  While Ryan is working diligently to perfect his sauerkraut recipe, I am flirting with local airborne yeast.

We have a sourdough bread bakery (Bordenaves est.1918) across the street from us.  My hope is that some of their yeast has sprung free and is up for grabs.

I love the idea of using berries to gather yeast.  There is something lyrical about it.  I bought some organic blueberries at whole foods, but they are from Chile.  The book says not to wash the berries for they are covered in yeast... Chilean yeast.  I washed them.  To make up for the foreign yeast I washed off I left the blueberries in a bowl by the window for a couple days to collect some delicious domestic yeast.  I have no idea if any of this will work.

After a delicious meal of rosemary  & garlic mashed potatoes and a little Rock Band 2™, I took the left over potato water (2cups at 100°F) and added a mix of flours (2cups) - rye, wheat, and bread flour.  Bread flour is basically semi-refined wheat flour with some barley flour.  It also has some added nutrients that (I am guessing) yeast like.  I whipped it up with a fork until all the chunks were dissapated and then tossed in my immigrant blueberries.

Our apartment is pretty drafty this time of year so the top of the 'fridge is the warmest place in the house - my starter's new home!  The book says that air circulation is important, so I bought some cheese cloth to keep out the bugs.  A tea towel would probably work okay too.

Now I am stirring it vigorously a couple times a day and crossing my fingers.

2 cups flour (any kind)
2 cups potato cooking water (between 98°F and 110°F)
blueberries that have been exposed to local air for 2 days

measuring cup
cheese cloth

Keep in warm place lightly covered.  Stir at least twice per day until yeasty bubbles form - around two weeks depending on the circumstance.

Sourdough Starter Starting

Note:Don't confuse the stirring bubbles for the yeasty bubbles.  This is a picture of stirring bubbles - I will post a portrait of yeast bubbles when/if it gets to that stage.

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