Ok, so it’s not really obligatory to post about sourdough these days. But I have to admit, we are on the bandwagon! I actually started my mother back in February, before everything got crazy, and shared its progeny with Chrissy, my sister-in-law.
And my mother is really a father… lol. Yukon Cornelius the grand patriarch of many sourdough starters. I really just maintained him, keeping him fed and happy and didn’t use him for a long time. I did split him off into two starters – one for Chrissy in February, and another for my friend Gabe in March, respectively named Baby Yukon and Jack, after Jack London. I guess I like masculine sourdough names.
Chrissy was gangbusters with Baby Yukon, making all sorts of delicious looking baked goods that I was not able to eat as we are all in shelter-in-place. I could only ogle them through photos. Bagels, banana bread, cookies, breads, pancakes… she seems to have a magic touch. (Chrissy is also very talented at making soap and shampoo bars too!)
They looked so good and inspiring, that Billy and I impulse bought a Kitchen-Aid mixer. We have wanted one for years and never gave in, until now. It took a pandemic and some good looking bagels to commit and we are so happy we did! I am not a big spender so it was a tough one for me, but I feel like it was a smart purchase since I feel it will get a lot of use and will last for a long time. So I was ok with it, even though you don’t need one to bake sourdough. We ordered it online from Target then did pick-up so that we weren’t making any delivery people work harder than they needed to, and Billy masked and gloved up and ran in. And it’s been a valuable asset for us through this time, enabling us to make bread and also as a distraction. Plus, Wyatt has really gotten into baking too! He loves baking with us!
Gabe took his and ran with it too, making bread and pretzels – and getting his girls involved as well! I am jealous of his pretzel making skills, as I tried to make pretzels too and mine didn’t turn out at all! Like the dough was just not right. Gabe also had lots of little Jack progeny as well, and for that I was grateful, since I accidentally killed Yukon Cornelius and was able to get a new starter. Just traveling through that sourdough family tree. I named my new one Yukon Jack, a combo of their two names, and then also made another starter from him, just in case we had another unfortunate incident. His name is Mountie Jack.. I guess I have become a Heartie. Then we split Mountie because my mom wanted a starter, and I named her starter Elizabeth. We will have to wait and see what my mom makes!
Since I was abysmal at actually making something with our sourdough, Billy took that job over for a bit, although I am considering making sourdough crumpets and sourdough pancakes this weekend. Billy is still finding his footing, and while they taste amazing and have the perfect texture, the tops keep getting burned. I think we have the oven rack maybe too high, so next time we will drop it. Or he will rather. Lol. But it toasts up perfectly, and toast is one of my favorite things to eat.
A dramatic portrait of toast, if I do say so myself.
We spent a lot of time looking up recipes and information on sourdough! My favorite sources of info have been the Clever Carrot’s Sourdough Guide for Beginners, Binging with Babish Sourdough, and 15 Mistakes Most Beginning Sourdough Bakers Make. Pinterest has a million recipes for those interested as well!
I also want to acknowledge the fact that my brother-in-law has been magical in finding flour for us when we need it as well!
Any tips from sourdough bakers out there, I would love to hear!