Gazette food columnist Lou Groccia finally gets the knack for making sourdoug

Friday, April 21, 2017

A friend gave me a cup of her sourdough starter about a month ago, and, miracles upon miracles, I have kept it going in my fridge since then.

I say miracles upon miracles, because this is the third sourdough starter I've been given in the past few years and this is first one that I have actually baked things with instead of just throwing it out without daring to do something with it.

But this time, I got serious and read all I could about sourdough and have taught myself to feed the refrigerated sourdough starter once a week.

I have so far made two round sourdough loaves that took three days and included something called a levain, sourdough buttermilk pancakes and sourdough pizza dough.

Every day I check on the starter to make sure it is slowly bubbling away like a contented Jabba the Hutt.

I have even become confident enough that I am passing along two of my starter discards to two friends in the neighborhood.

For my next baking experiment, I am making sourdough English muffins, which should be side-splitting fun.

One of the nice side effects of working with the sourdough is that I have slowly started to understand what the dough is trying to tell me when I am handling it.

And what it is telling me is, "If you build a brick oven, they will rise for you."

Really, there is a voice in my head saying this even as I type this sentence.

Of course, maybe I am hearing those voices because I drank the alcohol that formed on top of the starter. Not sure I was supposed to do that. I think I was just supposed to stir it back into the starter.

Oh, well. Maybe next time.


What a coincidence, I have some sourdough starter that someone gave us a while back. Unfortunately I think it has gone to the great sourdough starter bread pan in the sky. It finally will be with it’s beloved sourdough starter mother of all sourdough starters. And with its many predeceased sourdough starter brothers and sisters. May it RIP