Beka To Basics

Real Food Cooking

Sour Beginnings

So, I think I’ve neglected to introduce you all to Wally.

Wally is a friend that I neglect. A lot. Well, maybe he’s more of a pet. In any case, I get the worst friend/pet owner award. Ever.

The last time I saw Wally was when I attempted this. And before that, was this. That was in March. It’s December.

I think I remembered to feed him in April, but like I said before. It’s December.

He has been sitting in the back corner of my fridge, alone, cold, unused. For Months.

I really thought I had killed him. I mean nothing can live without eating for eight months. I decided it was time to find out and…

Wally - the sourdough starter

Wally – the sourdough starter

Bam! HE’S ALIVE!!!!

Wally, the sourdough starter made it. That’s him a few hours after being fed, all happy and bubbly.

And yes, I named him.  He IS like a pet – you feed him, change his water, take him out, put him in a crate (jar) and in return you get to make sourdough bread, or muffins, or pancakes, or cinnamon rolls. Why Wally?  It just felt right. ;)

If you’re not sure about sourdough, it works something like this.  You “catch” yeast from the air by leaving out a flour and water mixture until it starts to bubble.  When it starts bubbling, add more water and flour to feed the yeast.  When you’re ready to make bread, or whatever you’re making with it, use the starter instead of store bought yeast. There are a lot of recipes to make a sourdough starter, but you can also buy one from plenty of online stores. Or just ask me, I can give you a Wally Jr.

IMG_0796Some people use enough of their starter to leave it out and feed it twice a day.  Well, when I started mine, I knew that wasn’t going to be for me.  Luckily, you can store the starter in the fridge and pull it out once a week or so to feed and/or use some.  That sounds more like me. And I was really good about it for a while. Until I wasn’t.  So he sat, and sat for a long time. Probably plotting his revenge.

I pulled him out of the fridge late last week because I was inspired by a Sourdough PancakeIMG_0797 recipe that was posted to my facebook news feed. I read it thinking, this is so easy.  There’s no waiting.  Usually sourdough takes overnight or at least a few hours. I know, I know, all bread takes time, but sourdough is different.  And by different, I mean much slower.  Wally has taught me a lot of patience.

Well, when I saw this recipe for sourdough pancakes, I really had to make them.  Saturday Morning, I mixed all the ingredients, fried some pancakes and sat down to eat.  They. Were. Sour.  I think the amount of sour in the starter is directly related to how angry he is for all the neglect you’ve put him through.

It’s ok though.  Wally and I? We made up and I made the same sourdough pancake recipe on Sunday.  He was MUCH happier on Sunday and the pancakes had the perfect touch of sourdough taste to complement the cinnamon and syrup topping.

Since then, I’ve made Sourdough Crepes and Pan Cubano.  The latter isn’t fully sourdough, because the second rise uses added yeast.  The recipe doesn’t even call for true sourdough starter, but I used mine instead of making a mini starter like the recipe instruct.  What to do with Pan Cubano?  Well, Cuban Sandwiches of course!

IMG_0799

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4 thoughts on “Sour Beginnings

  1. Angelia on said:

    I found you on facebook from a post at Culture for health. I am thinking of starting a wally of my own but I have not done this before and don’t have many recipes. I think I will also let my culture set in the fridge. I just added buttermilk culture and the creme fresh to my yogurt so I don’t want to add to much at once till I can get a handle on everything. Where do you get recipes?

  2. I found the recipe to make the starter online. There are lots of instructions – some use just flour and water, others add a bit of pineapple juice or sugar until the starter is established. Or you can order an established starter.
    Once you have a starter, it is really difficult to find 100% sourdough recipes online. Most use some starter and some store bought yeast, but there are some if you look. Cultures for Health has a few sourdough recipes, like the pancakes and crepes I tried. They also have a bread recipe that I haven’t tried yet.
    I do have one ebook with nothing but sourdough recipes from GNOWFGLINS: http://gnowfglins.com/ecourse/sourdough-ebook It’s been really helpful. Other than that, I go to the library to find cookbooks or scour the internet for true sourdough recipes.
    Let me know how it goes! :)

  3. HFerris on said:

    I love Wally’s name. Even though I’m not a huge fan of sourdough, the crepes sound yummy!

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