Building the Mother

Chopping the rhubarb

It speaks to how odd I must be that the bowl of bubbling tannish glop in a glass bowl on my countertop is something I consider to be one of the more exciting things I’ve ever done.  I am finally doing it. That bubbling oozing mess is the “mother”, my very own sourdough, right here in my very own kitchen in Seattle.

Yes, it’s only day two and I have heard stories, lurid and gory, of bowls of raisin water and flour going horribly awry, with streaks, bubbles and mounds of blue and black mold forming on the top of the dough before the natural airborne yeast can wrest control of the situation.  Still it’s exciting – even if this mess does go moldy on me. At least I’ve started on the journey of building bread with no commercial yeast. I’ve always wanted to. There’s no going back now!

Mixing the mother

All mixed up


6 responses to “Building the Mother

  1. Sourdough is made with Rhubarb? Now I’m very curious! I never thought about what was in there. Do give more details…

  2. Not all sourdough! This is just one method from the St. John restaurant in London. Peter Reinhart uses raisin water, made by soaking raisins in water. Some people just put in a whole bunch of grapes. I think all of the fruits are sources of wild yeast. I wanted to make a bread with no commercial yeast – this is day 5! Tomorrow is the test day – i’m so excited about it!

    Do you want me to write up the method so you can try too? It’s easy!

  3. Yes! I’m not so sure I’ll do you proud, but if you have success, I’d give it a try. Sourdough is about my favorite thing 🙂

  4. I’m not sure I’m going to do myself proud – Leo might have killed it with aggressive stirring today. You should try it though. It’s fun having a bubbling science experiment on the counter! I will try to get it written up this week. I would love to hear how yours goes so we can compare notes!

  5. Great pictures! How brave of you to try to find a wild source of yeasts for your mother starter. It’s so good to see someone take some old fashioned approaches to see what happens. I like the way you do things not out of fetish – but genuine culinary curiosity and the desire to make good tasting things. Rock Star!!

  6. Thanks Lee! I WISH I were a rock star – wouldn’t that be funny! As for the pictures, daylight savings time has helped immensely! I am so happy not to rely on the flash right now. I never got it right. I have to go and …feed my mother!!! Doesn’t that sound creepy?! Like a horror flick.

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