Sourdough Made Easy
You can find my new cookbook at Amazon
A new book to explore the world of sourdough.
Cooking with Sourdough is fun and easy
One of the fondest memories I have from growing up on a farm in Maine is the smell of fresh baked bread cooling on the rack. I could not wait to "sample" Mom's cooking. With butter melting on the warm slice, it was something to be treasured and I can taste it to this day.
While many people think bread making is time consuming and difficult, it really is not. Most of the time involved is waiting for the yeast to do their job. Actual hands-on time is very little of the total process. If you want to kick up your baking a little, try cooking with sourdough. It can lead you to new adventures in baking far beyond just bread and give you and your family many new memories of sitting around the table trying new ideas in baking. You can use your sourdough starter for breads, cakes, frying batters, rolls and muffins and any number of other innovative ideas.
A new cookbook for sourdough bakers, Sourdough Made Easy, available on Amazon.com expands the scope of this wonderful method of creative cookery. There are recipes for deserts, frying batters cakes and cookies in this cookbook along with many useful baking tips and techniques. Sweet sourodugh is just one chapter in the book.
There are several types of sourdough starters. Sweet sourdough starters are sometimes known as "Amish Friendship" or "Herman" sourdough starters. Either way, the process is the same and the results are delicious.
They are easy and inexpensive and, with very little effort, will last a long time. One of the great things about these starters is that you can share them with friends and family.
Here are the basic recipe and steps for creating a sweet sourdough starter: This is from my cookbook on page 92:
There are a number of things that can be made from it. It's very important
to NOT use metal utensils or bowls! It will take 16 days for the starter to
mature and be ready to use the first time you make it. After that it can
be ready for use every 10 days.
Herman (sweet sourdough starter)
This is a recipe for a sweet sourdough starter known as Herman.
There are a number of things that can be made from it. It will take 16 days for the starter to mature and be ready to use the first time you make it. After that it can be ready for use every 10 days.
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups lukewarm water , 110o F
3 cups flour
3⁄4 cups sugar
In a large glass or plastic container, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Stir in the flour and sugar, and mix until smooth. Cover loosely and store in a warm place overnight.
The next day, stir and refrigerate. Stir once each day for the next four days. On the fifth day, stir, then divide in half. Give half away with feeding instructions.
Feed starter with 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup milk. With plastic or wooden spoon, stir until smooth. Cover and place in refrigerator. Stir once each day for the next four days. On the fifth day, remove and discard 1 cup of starter and then feed again with 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup milk. Return to refrigerator and stir once each day for the next four days. On the tenth day it is ready to be used for baking. Reserve one cup of the starter in the refrigerator and continue to follow the stir and feed cycle (stir once a day for four days, stir and feed on the fifth day, ready for use on the tenth day.)
This is the basis for Amish Friendship Bread. That recipe is in the cookbook also.
While there is not necessarily a true connection to the Amish community, the story and tradition are nice. The common variation passed on to friends includes baking two loaves of bread on the tenth day and giving half of the remaining starter, along with one of the loaves of bread and a copy of the recipe to a friend. There are as many variations as there are cooks. Feel free to experiment and share your results.