Sourdough questions for Cathe - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 02-03-2004, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I printed out your sourdough recipe, and the starter's on day three. I've got some questions, though. First of all, after I've used some of the starter for making bread, how often do I need to feed it, and do I leave it out of the fridge after I feed it, and for how long? Basically, please tell me everything I need to know to maintain the starter once it's started (and bear in mind that we don't eat as much bread as you do -- I usually make about a loaf a week, sometimes 2).

Also, I live at about 8,000 ft., so do you know if I have to use less starter per loaf, or if there are other adjustments that need to me made? Or am I going to have learn by trial and error? I have some good info about how to adjust the yeast in regular bread recipes, but nothing about sourdough. I know you're unlikely to know, but thought I'd ask anyway.

And one last question. I'm pretty new to baking bread with spelt flour (the dr. took me off wheat, at least for awhile). It's pretty crumbly. I've added an egg, and that helps a bit, but not a lot. Do you have any other ideas? With whole wheat bread, I added a little gluten flour, but since that is wheat-derived, I can't use that with the spelt flour. This is so frustrating. Just when I was really comfortable with making a good whole wheat loaf, I have to learn how to use spelt flour.

One other bit of information. I get a sprouted whole grain spelt flour. That won't change anything will it?? I'm going to try to sprouting my own spelt and drying it and grinding it when things settle down here a bit (I have a grain grinder, and find that my home ground flour usually works better than the stuff from the store, so I'm looking forward to trying it).

TIA for any help you can offer.


Christie ~ proud Mama to : 5/01, and : 3/07; and proud wife to my since 1992. We have 13 and 2 : It's looking more and more like either a farm or a zoo around here.
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#2 of 2 Old 02-04-2004, 04:33 PM
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Okay here goes:

The starter should be fed once a week to 10 days if not used. To feed, just add about 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. STir it in. After feeding or after making bread and replenishing starter, I leave it at room temperature for a few hours - until it is bubbly and smells like starter again.

As for spelt - I never noticed a problem with crumblyness - it does not rise as high as wheat though and rye rises even less but both taste good.

I'll be interested to hear how you like the sprouted flour (I didn't even know you could buy it). I tried making my own sprouted wheat flour but grinded it in the blender and it did rise well at all - probably it wasn't ground fine enough. If you have good luck making it yourself, maybe I'll invest in a grinder.

As for the elevation adjustments - I think trail and error - I am no expert - just figuring it out as I go along. I got info from Nourishing Traditions and on the internet to come up with my method.

I made a couple of loaves yesterday with 1 cup of leftover cooked millet porridge and they were YUMMY! I find adding cooked grain makes a higher loaf.

Good luck and let me know how it is going . . . .

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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