Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Am Pleased To Introduce To You...

"Billy Jean is not my lover, she's just a starter that I keep in the fridge."
This is the newest addition to my kitchen, Billy Jean, the wild-yeast sourdough starter I've been nurturing for the last couple weeks.  It seems like most people give their starter a male name, but I went with a female moniker for mine.  I'm not really sure what inspired me to use the title of a Michael Jackson song, it was just in my head when I was trying to decide what to call it. 

I struggled with the starter a bit at the beginning, I wasn't able to follow simple directions of feeding it with equal weights of flour and water, had to deal with low nighttime temps in our cold house, etc.  But after regular, proper feedings and creating an incubator in the cupboard with a light to keep it warm, I was able to get it really going.  It consistently rises a good amount after feeding in about 10 hours, which is exactly what you're looking for.  It might rise even quicker than that since I was only checking occasionally and not really paying a whole lot of attention.  
A closeup of the lovely, bubbly Billy Jean.
Husband Jeff was getting a bit weary of leaving the kitchen light on every night for Billy Jean, so I read up on how to get her tucked away and hibernating in the refrigerator with only occasional feedings.  Her current home of a 6-cup Pyrex container is a bit too large for long-term storage in our fridge, so I moved her to a small and wide salsa jar. That seems like a good amount to maintain.

So You Made It, Now What?

I will feed Billy Jean about once a month and use the occasional spoonful to ferment my porridge/oatmeal, which I still haven't done yet.  I'd also like to make some other recipes like sourdough waffles and maybe the occasional sourdough bread, but that wasn't really my focus with this project.  Making things with your sourdough starter is not usually a spur-of-the-moment thing, takes a lot of forethought, like you need to start on something three days before you actually want to make it.  I'm quite fond of planning, but that seems like a lot of effort. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!