February 16, 2010

A New Adventure: Wilbur the Sourdough Culture

Here is a very low-maintenance project I am working on: a sourdough starter! Ryan and I are trying to become freakishly healthy people, which means we've not only been eating whole wheat bread, we've been eating sprouted grain whole wheat bread. Oh my. Can you get much snobbier than that? Haha.

But sprouted whole wheat bread is spendy, and I'm trying to find ways to be good and economical. So I'm trying sourdough -- reportedly even better for you than sprouted wheat, and cheaper if you do it yourself.

This is frightening. Sourdough is alive. It's a little civilization living on your counter -- a civilization that depends on you for all its food, water, and warmth. Yikes.

I named mine Wilbur. He's not quite a week old yet, and so he's not a real culture yet. But by Thursday (if he makes it that long, and I don't forget to feed him), he will be a real grown-up sourdough culture, ready to make bread.

So I've spent the last few days peering under a towel every few minutes and seeing if he's growing at all.

Here is a baby picture:

I started him in a measuring cup, but now he's moved into a big red bowl.

I used the kefir sourdough recipe from this page:
Dom's Kefir-cheese in-site
But the guy who wrote those is very lackadaisical about care-and-loving-of-sourdough, so I got my theory and details from this page:
Sourdough Home

Isn't my (almost) sourdough cute? :)



  1. Lol! Very cute, Courtney :) I've been baking bread a *ton* lately: just made a few loaves of potato-rye and sourdough today. Have you seen the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day? It's great! And the authors came out with a companion book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. You might want to take a look at it. =)

  2. Awwwwww, he's adorable. :-) I'm about to try to make something new, but it's not healthy. :-P I figured I'd try my hand at lemon meringue pie since you and Kaitie have already mastered the other kinds. :)

  3. Thanks, Juliet! I will definitely look into those books. :) Another reason that I'm exploring sourdough is that my other bread recipes do *not* like Boise. Maybe it's the weather or the altitude or something...But I make the bread exactly the same as before, and even though they do fine on their first rise, after they're baked they come out like little rocks. It's very aggravating. So I'm all up for new things. :) (And wow...three loaves in one day?? You're back at the Callihans' now, right? I guess they're a pretty good audience for bread. :))

    And Noble, good job tackling the lemon meringue! I haven't been brave enough yet. But someone in our family must have inherited Grandma's awesome skills. Maybe it's you!