Hi. I haven’t seen you in so long, how are you? Yes, Israel was fun. Remember when I never wanted to talk about pad thai again? Pita, hummus, falafel. Chickpeas, we’re calling it quits. I’ve got to stop traveling or I’ll starve once I get back home. But I should say that I had some lovely food in the respites between PHF (See 5. Non-PHF Fare).
After traveling, it’s so delightful to get back to your own bed. So I did a running slam into it facedown and stayed there for a bit before I realized—I’d forgotten about the baby! I ran to the fridge, and, lifting the bowl tenderly, peered under the Saran wrap. She is alive. A little grayed but alive. And hungry.
Let me backtrack. You may recall the sad tale of my lost child, the sourdough starter baby Sharpie (Rot in Peace). After losing him, I vowed that in the next go-round I would be a better mother: change her, feed her, always be there to wipe away her fruit flies. I began the process and once more had a bowl of water and rye flour fermenting away in the counter corner.
As the end of her eleven-day gestation approached, I realized I would be out of the kitchen for her first days as a completed starter. I couldn’t bear to put another child down the garbage disposal, so I did what any conscientious mother would do in my situation: I took my newborn to Vegas.
Sin City must have some delightful wild yeast floating around, and as it wafted up to the 58th floor of the Wynn on the flutterings of whore trading cards, the baby grew.
According to The Cheese Board Collective Works (almost as awesome as the store itself), “with monthly feedings, sourdough starter will last indefinitely in the refrigerator.” So I left for Israel with the bowl in the fridge; somehow I think Customs frowns upon bringing starter on an international flight.
Now back, I have some sourdough projects in the works. So stay tuned, or RSS’d, or whatever gets you here. In the meantime, here’s something to get you started:
HOW TO MAKE A BABY
Adapted from The Cheese Board Collective Works by the Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley
You will need: Water, rye flour, lots of bread flour (I use King Arthur), and eleven days
Day 1: In a medium non-metallic bowl, stir ½ C lukewarm water with ¾ C rye flour until smooth. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top (do not seal, just lay over top) and leave out at room temperature for 48 hours. It will get bubbly.
Day 2: Look at bubbles.
Day 3: Feed starter by stirring in 2/3 C bread flour until smooth. Lay plastic wrap over bowl and let stand another 48 hours.
Day 4: Tell someone to smell the starter and watch their disgusted reaction. The orig was named “Sharpie” for a reason.
Day 5: Pay attention because you’re going to have to do this over and over again: Remove ¼ C of the starter and throw out the rest. Rinse out the bowl and put the ¼ C back into the bowl. Stir in ½ C lukewarm water. Add 2/3 C bread flour and mix until smooth. Cover and let stand 48 hours.
Day 7: Repeat Day 5 instructions.
Day 9: Day 5. Let stand 24 hours this time.
Day 10: Day 5. 24 hours.
Day 11: A star is born. You can now do another Day 5 and then immediately refrigerate, repeating Day 5 at least monthly. To bake with it, add to a recipe you have calling for sourdough starter or wait for my next post.