Last year at Christmas time I made a family recipe book.
I remembered all of the great dishes my mom, aunts, grandma and great grandma had cooked growing up and got a little desperate to recreate them. It was a pretty easy project. I used Blurb which has standard themes and patterns. I then badgered everyone for their recipes. The book is so fun. I sent out a copy to my aunts, my mom, my grandma and cousins and everyone has been getting a kick out of it.
I've been cooking their amazing versions of meatloaf, enchiladas, chile verde, and spaghetti sauce with homemade meatballs. But the recipe I was most excited to try out was sourdough bread made with my grandma's sourdough starter.
I grew up with my grandma making all kinds of delicious things with her sourdough starter. She'd make sourdough waffles, biscuits, cobblers and an amazing crust for homemade pizzas.
The ingredients are pretty simple:
1 medium potato peeled and grated
3 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
3 cups of flour
This is an old school sourdough starter. I've seen other versions that use active dry yeast and others that have you boil potatoes and then use the potato water in the recipe. I've actually seen others that don't use anything other than flour and water.
1.All ingredients are combined together in a glass container. Use a wooden spoon to mix - and don't use any metal (bowls or spoons). It affects the chemistry.
2. Cover the bowl lightly with a cheesecloth, light weight kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm place for 2-3 days until it becomes bubbly and smells sour. Stir once a day and remove any big chunks of potato on the third day.
You can really tell when it's ready - it smells like sourdough bread!
At this point you can store your starter in the fridge in preparation for when you want to start baking. You might want to use this adorable printable by armommy which lets you keep track of the date and year you made the starter.
When you're ready to start baking with your starter, take it out the night before and combine the starter with 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of water and 1tsp of sugar in a glass bowl. Let it stand overnight. The next morning, take whatever amount of starter you need for your recipe and return the rest to your refrigerator jar!
I used this rustic sourdough bread recipe and the bread was soooo yummy. So yummy in fact that the bread was gone before I could snap a picture. I haven't had a chance to try out Grandma's sourdough biscuit or waffle recipe yet, but it's on the schedule. Now that I have the starter in the fridge ready to go I can whip up sourdough anything, anytime!