Ok, you twisted my arm. I couldn't resist any longer. The call to start my own sourdough was strong and with all of the blog posts, social media posts, etc out there, I had to jump on the bandwagon. And boy am I glad I did!
It all began with this guy...
If you've never seen him before, this is a Mahonia plant (or Oregon grape which I think sounds way friendlier). I had never seen it before until moving into our new home. I try to do all things homemade and while setting up our new homestead I've been exploring our backyard. Honestly, I had to look it up and do some research because I was afraid it was something poisonous and having a toddler and 3 dogs, I have to be careful. To my surprise, I found a wealth of knowledge out there on the many benefits of this invasive plant. So much, that I plan on making it even more invasive in my yard to yield even more of these power packed "grapes". During my search, I stumbled upon this amazing website and have since become a loyal follower (you should too!). https://www.growforagecookferment.com
I could go on and on about the amazing things Colleen does on her website, but I digress. Let's just say she's my new "go-to" for my homesteading.
See the white stuff on the outside of these "grapes"? That's wild yeast! JACKPOT! I pulled as many as I could off my one plant, while leaving some for the birds. I got about 2.5 cups and I immediately froze them so that one day I will have enough for jam. I did however set aside a few for my sourdough starter. I used Colleen's method (Sourdough Starter) for setting up my starter and instead of real grapes, I used my foraged mahonia. I now have a bubbly, happy, healthy starter waiting for me in my fridge for all my baking needs!
It took about a week to develop my starter and after that I was off and running. I started with Colleen's No Knead Sourdough and got this beauty. Crusty, chewy, sour, etc. All the things you could ever want in a sourdough bread.
But that wasn't enough. My mother-in-law told me that she doesn't love the "sourness" of sourdough. So then that sent me on another mission. Now I needed a recipe for a standard sandwich bread that was more mild in taste and softer to the touch. That's where this happened...
The recipe for this one is a classic. These loaves are soft, lightly crusted and mildly sour. Perfect for grilled cheeses, avocado toast, and PBJ's. Beginner Sourdough Again I followed the recipe to the T and they were perfection.
So then I really started thinking. There's got to be a way to "sour" everything. And, as weekends are for indulgence, these beauties were born.
Ooey, gooey, decadent cinnamon/sticky buns with dreamy cream cheese frosting. I loosely used this recipe. One day I'll show you what I did to adapt. This is a great start though. Overnight Cinnamon Rolls It's a really easy recipe to follow and they were a hit!
As you may have already guessed, I didn't stop there. Taco Tuesday (or Thursday in this case) came along and I thought, yup I can "sour" that too! I turned to my mentor Colleen for these amazing tortillas. These were great, because my little likes all things having to do with dough lately, play or otherwise. So, we made them together! I let her roll and re-roll the tortillas while I grilled them up. So much fun and way better than store-bought. I'll definitely be doing those again. We ate them so fast that I didn't get a picture so I'll be sure to chronicle that process for you soon.
And the latest stop on this "sour" journey has been these puffy little friends. English Muffins! If you've never had a homemade english muffin, you've been missing out. Not only are they super easy, but they are nowhere near the same thing as what you find in the store. And I was so proud of my little yeasties in my starter for puffing up so nicely and working hard to give me these this morning.
And I'm not stopping there! If you haven't started yet, you need to. Its rewarding, soothing, and satisfying. My next experiments are going to be bagels, pretzels, and believe it or not...brownies! I can't wait, and it gives me a sense of pride to know that I'm keeping my little yeasties alive. It's a give and take. I'm nourishing them and they're nourishing me.