[Sca-cooks] Wild Yeast (longish and somewhat OOP) : was 'rich yeasted cake'

Georgia Foster jo_foster81 at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 6 06:26:06 PDT 2009


I don't like referring to the starter yeast I use as 'sourdough' because mine is not 'sour'.  I've tried 'sourdough' starter (think San Francisco Sourdough Bread), but my family does not care for the taste so I don't make it.
The starter I use is a part of the culture (in both senses)  carried across the plains in covered wagons (for more information google 'Oregon Trail Starter').  It has been growing in a continuous way since 1850 (at least).  Anybody who wants a dry batch can either get it online or let me know and I will make up a batch, dry it and send it.  Lots of folks have started their own quite successfully from scratch, and I have done some of that too (instructions are available online, just google 'sourdough starter' for more links than you ever thought possible on the subject).  I have also used ale barm from experiments in brewing (though not lately).  I have contemplated growing some starter from packaged ale yeast without the ale making process (hmn ... I will be passing by the brew shop on my way to the VA tomorrow .....).  
Some folks feed theirs with potato water (that water left after boiling potatoes).  Some just add water and flour (what I do).  I have not fed mine on malt syrup yet but I plan to give it a try.
I've never completely lost the batch but if ever I do I have several friends locally whom I have corrupted into the bread making fanatics and so I guess I just never worried about it.
I keep my starter in a jar in the fridge and have let it be idle for MONTHS in summer (yes ... I am a BAD yeast mommy).  When the starter has been dormant for a while it takes a little longer to bring it back to life is all.  Of course this time of year when I am baking bread a lot, I often overwork the poor little yeastiebeasties and the starter sits bubbling away happily on the counter above the heater vent that serves the kitchen.
The most difficult part of using that vent as my source of gentle heat is when I set up a chair in front of the heat vent (old house ... vent is on the wall about 20 inches up) the cat thinks it is a nice warm place for kitty naps and is quite indignant when she is evicted in preference to the chair with the bowl with the risings in it.







Jo (Georgia L.) Foster
Never knock on Death's door.
Ring the doorbell and run ... he hates that.
I don't want to set the world on fire, I'm just trying to light a candle.

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